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Teen Instrumentalists Convene Virtually in July for NYO-USA, NYO2, and NYO Jazz

Victoria Wasylak • News • July 14, 2020

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From July 6-17, more than 200 of the country’s most outstanding teen musicians—hailing from 41 states across the USA—came together to form an online virtual musical community, taking part in Carnegie Hall’s three acclaimed national youth ensembles: the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA), NYO2, and NYO Jazz. 

The annual summer training residency, which is free to all participants, shifted this year to an all-digital programming format in light of the effects of COVID-19.

Artistic director and bandleader Sean Jones led NYO Jazz in preparation for the virtual world premiere of a new work, Fête dans la Tête, by John Beasley, commissioned especially for NYO Jazz, as well as Thad Jones’s Cherry Juice. All three ensembles recorded virtual performance video projects during the residency, directed by Emmy Award-winner Habib Azar, to be released later this summer.

“We are always inspired by the amazing musicianship, creativity, enthusiasm, and ingenuity of our national youth ensembles,” said Clive Gillinson, executive and artistic director of Carnegie Hall. “Although we wish we could all be together in person this summer, we are excited to host this virtual community offering everyone the opportunity to collaborate and engage with one another from home, learning from and engaging with a world-class faculty.”

“At a time when young musicians around the country have been at home, seeking meaningful ways to continue to learn and make music with others, we are happy to be offering high-quality virtual training and performance opportunities that have become a hallmark of our national youth ensembles,” said Sarah Johnson, chief education officer and director of Weill Music Institute. “We know how valuable it is for young people to stay connected with their peers, especially during these challenging times, and NYO is a fantastic way for them to continue their musical discovery, elevate their playing, and connect with one another.” 

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