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First National Youth Orchestra Prepares for Global Tour During Rigorous Training Residency at Purchase College

The first National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA) is preparing for its upcoming tour by undergoing a rigorous two-week training residency here on campus.

The NYO-USA, created by Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute, is a major new, tuition-free initiative that has brought together 120 of the most talented orchestral players ages 16-19 from across the country. Representing 42 states and more than 100 cities and towns, the young musicians have all been recognized by Carnegie Hall as being among the finest nationwide, following a comprehensive audition process.

During their two-week residency, running June 30 through July 11, orchestra members will use the Performing Arts Center (PAC) and the Conservatory of Music's rehearsal studios while undergoing training, rehearsals, and mentoring led by section leaders from top American orchestras.

Purchase is a key partner in Carnegie's new initiative and the NYO-USA marks the beginning of an ongoing partnership in which the two organizations will share resources and explore collaborations in support of their missions and advancement of shared educational goals.

"This partnership between Purchase College and Carnegie Hall began about two years ago when we received a call from Carnegie Hall seeing if we had an interest in this project," said Harry McFadden, director of the PAC. "Our president, Thomas J. Schwarz (a member of the Advisory Council of Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute) moved this forward and a great partnership was born." McFadden said other sites were considered, "but Carnegie Hall really liked our facilities and found the college extremely conducive to this program and its participants."

Capping the students' stay at Purchase, world-renowned conductor Valery Gergiev will lead the NYO-USA in its first public performance at the PAC this Thursday, July 11. The performance will feature acclaimed violinist Joshua Bell and is open to the public. Tickets currently available here.

The orchestra then heads off on tour, starting at Washington, DC's Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, July 13, continuing overseas for two concerts in Moscow and St. Petersburg; and ending with a concert at London's Royal Albert Hall on Sunday, July 21, which WQXR will broadcast on July 27 at 5:00 p.m. at wqxr.org.

PHOTO: Jeffrey Turner, Principal Bass with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, leads a bass sectional. In the background is the PAC's famed 30-foot-tall Flentrop tracker organ, one of the largest Flentrop instruments in the eastern US.

The NYO-USA bass section (from left to right) Sebastian Zinca, Colton Kelley, Andrew Downs, Santiago Olaguibel, Jacob Warren, William Langlie-Miletich, Ahmer'e Blackman, Andrew Sommer, and Matthew Burg.

Photo: Chris Lee

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