Flagship ensembles take the Big Apple by storm

NT ensembles seize the chance to play at Carnegie Hall

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New Trier Symphony Orchestra’s french horn section posing for a selfie at New York’s Carnegie Hall

New Trier Symphony Orchestra’s french horn section posing for a selfie at New York’s Carnegie Hall

Williamson

Williamson

New Trier Symphony Orchestra’s french horn section posing for a selfie at New York’s Carnegie Hall

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An orchestra trip to Carnegie Hall in New York over spring break included musicians from Concert Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and Symphony Orchestra.

The New Trier Wind Symphony, a combination of the two wind ensembles, also collaborated with the Symphony Orchestra for their big performance on Sunday, Apr. 1 at Carnegie Hall.

“Carnegie hall is known worldwide as having one of the best acoustics for a performance hall,” orchestra director Peter Rosheger said. “Our ensembles were so inspired to perform in this space. From the late 1800’s to today, the most important musicians have performed in this space.”

The Carnegie Hall performance was the main event of the trip, according to many of the participants. Senior and violin player Rachel Chiao said,

“The trip was a once in a lifetime experience, and I’m so glad I was able to participate. You hear so much about Carnegie Hall in movies and books, but you would never believe that you would be able to actually experience it.”

“It was really cool and a little bit surreal to perform in Carnegie Hall,” said senior violinist Ella Torres.

Senior violinist Linda Chiu was also impressed by the venues where the orchestra played. “We rehearsed in the recording studio where many Broadway soundtracks are made.”

“The acoustics were insane. After we finished a piece the last note would ring. Carnegie was the coolest place we’ve played, and it was neat because it was the ensemble’s first time playing there,” added Chiu.

Symphony Orchestra performed three pieces, incluing Franz Liszt’s third symphonic poem, “Les Préludes.” Wind Symphony played five pieces, opening with Leonard Bernstein’s “Slava!”

The group prepared with plenty of practice, including long rehearsals in Winnetka, New York City, clinics in Manhattan, concerts at Northwestern University and a high school in New Jersey.

With all the preparation, junior violinist Rachel Hsu said, “I thought it was the best performance we’d played of each piece, and it was quite amazing when we got a standing ovation which I never expected.”

“The students were definitely in the moment. They were excited but focused and played beautifully. It was the best performance of their music all around,” said band director Matthew Temple.

Torres agreed and said, “It was definitely one of our better if not our best performance.”

The performance included the New Trier orchestra and wind ensembles as well as two festival choirs. According to Torres, “A lot of high school groups perform in Carnegie Hall because they need to keep the space filled.”

According to junior viola player Jasmine Wu, while it is not uncommon to see high schoolers performing in renowned concert halls, it was a great opportunity. “The New York trip was a fun and exciting experience. Rarely do you get to travel and perform at a high level with your friends, and we were fortunate enough to do it this spring break,” said Wu.

In addition to creating musical opportunities for students, the trip helped the musicians bond within their ensembles.

“What I really like about orchestra is all the relationships that can develop and the interconnectedness. This trip did just that and created more bonds,” Hsu said. “Everyone has to work together to make great music, and New Trier has one of the few high school orchestras that is actually able to play music at a fairly high level.”

“It’s a very meaningful experience to bond with other students through music. Music connects us and moves us in ways that can’t easily be explained. To share that bond on the stage of Carnegie Hall was priceless,” elaborated Temple.

Rosheger said that the orchestra performed at Carnegie Hall in 2006 as well. “Trips are similar in that the ensembles develop a bond and an esprit de corps. But every trip is different because each group of students brings a unique or different character to the experience.”

In addition to the performance in Carnegie Hall, students had fun sightseeing around New York. “We were able to explore multiple parts of New York City. We went to MoMA, the 9/11 Museum and Memorial, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, an opera at the MET, and a Broadway musical in three days,” said Chiao.

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