Blacksburg High School senior Sam Woolsey is among the 109 teens invited to tour this summer as a timpani player/percussionist with the National Youth Orchestra of the United States.
Carnegie Hall began the National Youth Orchestra program 10 years ago, and the ensemble has served as cultural ambassadors around the world ever since. NYO is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and will be touring North America with stops from Carnegie Hall to San Diego.
The members of the 2023 orchestra, ages 16 through 19, hail from 31 states plus Puerto Rico and have been recognized by Carnegie Hall as being among the finest players in the country following a comprehensive and highly selective audition process.
This summer’s orchestra features 13 musicians who previously played with the National Youth Orchestra and 35 musicians who gained experience through NYO2, a program for younger players ages 14–17. Both NYO-USA and NYO2 are offered free of charge, ensuring that all invited musicians have the opportunity to take part.
Woolsey is one of only three students from the commonwealth to be selected for the tour. The other two are cello player Kyle Ryu from Burke, Va., and bass player Joshua Thrush from Vienna, Va.
Conductor Sir Andrew Davis will lead the national youth orchestra at Carnegie Hall and on its North American Tour that will feature a trip to New York in early July for an intensive two-week training residency at Purchase College, State University of New York (SUNY).
Davis will also lead the teen orchestra at the annual Carnegie Hall concert (July 14). The tour will include stops in Groton, Mass.; Joliette, Quebec; Dallas, Texas; Jackson, Wyoming; Stanford, Calif.; and San Diego, Calif.
Violinist Gil Shaham is the guest soloist for the orchestra’s performance at Carnegie Hall and for five performances on the tour. Violinist Hilary Hahn joins as guest soloist for two tour performances.
The orchestra’s tour repertoire will include a new work written for the ensemble by Valerie Coleman, commissioned by Carnegie Hall; Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique; and Barber’s and Tchaikovsky’s violin concertos.
Tickets for the Carnegie Hall concert will go on sale for the general public on Monday, April 24.. Tickets can be purchased at the Carnegie Hall Box Office and/or by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800.
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