In the summer of 2013, Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute will bring together the brightest young players from across the country to form the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America. Below, Helen Cha-Pyo, music director of the Empire State Youth Orchestra, shares what she loves about working with a high-caliber youth orchestra and reflects on the the lasting impact such experiences can have on a young musician's life.
Working with highly talented and driven high school students has been one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. I absolutely love my job! These young musicians are filled with endless possibilities, fueled by hope for the future and anchored in solid work ethic. Members of orchestras like ours truly are the cream of the crop of our country's youth, and I am so honored to be able to spend quality time week after week with them. I also feel privileged to share their highs and lows in life: highs such as performing Scheherazade on the stage of Carnegie Hall, playing Dvořák's Symphony No. 8 in Prague's Dvořák Hall, and inspiring thousands of children at our young people's concerts.
Youth orchestra members are leaders among their peers and a source of inspiration for younger children in their communities, and they continue to make positive contributions all over the world after they move on. Graduates of the Empire State Youth Orchestra are thriving in all professional fields: medicine, law, education, science research, finance, politics, arts, and, of course, music. I couldn't be more proud of our ESYO students and other young musicians just like them all around America. Our country is better off because of their love for music and, furthermore, passion for life.
I want to share my favorite definition of music. This is what Plato said: "Music is a moral law. It gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, and life to everything. It is the essence of order, and leads to all that is good, just, and beautiful, of which it is the invisible, but nevertheless dazzling, passionate, and eternal form." My best wishes to the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America—lead us to all that is good.
Photo by Barry