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Carnegie Hall Announces Teen Musicians Selected for the 2020 National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America

Created by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, Prestigious National Program Recognizes Finest Young Musicians from Across the Country, Ages 16–19

Conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto Leads Performances at Carnegie Hall and On Tour Across North America, Featuring Violinist Midori

NYO-USA 2020 Program Includes Works by Stravinsky and Sibelius, as Talented Teens Travel North America as Musical Ambassadors

(New York, NY, March 5, 2020)—Carnegie Hall today announced the names of the 115 outstanding young musicians selected from across the country for the eighth annual National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA). The members of the 2020 orchestra—ages 16–19, hailing from 34 US states—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 19 musicians who previously played with NYO-USA, as well as 24 musicians who gained experience through NYO2, a program for younger players ages 14–17. NYO-USA and NYO2 are offered free of charge, ensuring that all invited musicians have the opportunity to take part.

See below or click here for the names, instruments, and hometowns of the members of the 2020 National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America.

Following an intensive two-week training residency at Purchase College, SUNY, acclaimed conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto, who has previously led NYO2 for the past two summers, returns to lead NYO-USA—joined by guest violinist Midori—at the orchestra’s annual Carnegie Hall concert and on a two-week tour of North American cities. The program includes Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and Sibelius’s Violin Concerto, among other works. Two apprentice composers will also compose new works for the orchestra, which will be premiered during the tour.

“The musicians who make up NYO-USA’s 2020 roster are among the very best players in the nation,” said Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall’s Executive and Artistic Director. “This promises to be an unforgettable summer for them—coming together to train with some of the top professional musicians in the country and challenging themselves to play at the highest level. These superb young players will also have the opportunity to connect with audiences across North America as musical ambassadors as they present extraordinary performances under the baton of conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto.”

NYO-USA musicians arrive in New York in early-July for an intensive two-week training residency on the campus of Purchase College, SUNY, working with principal players from some of the finest professional orchestras. James Ross, music director of the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, returns to lead the NYO-USA faculty for an eighth year. Joseph Young, Artistic Director of Ensembles at the Peabody Institute, will serve as resident conductor. The faculty will oversee rehearsals during the orchestra’s residency in Purchase and will also lead master classes, chamber music readings, and other seminars on essential music skills, all leading up to the launch of NYO-USA’s annual tour.


2020 Orchestra Roster

* Prior NYO-USA member
+ Prior NYO2 member




Kyuna Kim, Violin (Vestavia Hills)*

Fernando Antonio Perez, Flute (Boise)





Jeremy Bryant, Trumpet (Tucson)

Sean Edwards, Percussion (Chicago) +


Rafael Noriega, Bass Trombone (Chicago) +



Melody Choi, Violin (San Jose) +


Katrina Chou, Violin (Cupertino)

Meagan Hipsky, Cello (Guilford)

Andrew Do, Cello (Irvine) +


Alexander Fried, Violin (Sylmar)


Aaron Hsia, Violin (Santa Clara)

Dorothy Junginger, Viola (West Des Moines)

Hannah Kim, Violin (Irvine)


Sabrina Kim, Violin (Sunnyvale)


Rachel Mugemancuro, Violin (Los Angeles)

Jake Alford, Tuba (Lexington)

Anoush Pogossian, Clarinet (Glendale)* +

Jina Park, Violin (Lexington)*

Daichi Sakai, Trumpet (Torrance)


Matthew Sakiyama, Violin (Millbrae) +


Kevin Song, Cello (San Diego)*

Evan Tsai, Bass (Baton Rouge)

Cole Turkel, Clarinet (Los Angeles) +

Sara Vollenweider, Horn (New Orleans) +

Julia Wang, Violin (Sunnyvale)*


Roger Xia, Violin (Davis)*


Sein Yun, Violin (Irvine)

Sergey Blinov, Cello (Baltimore)


Brandon Du, Violin (Ellicott City)


Corinne Foley, Oboe (Rockville)

Lauren Bensaid, Violin (Parker)

Amy Hwang, Flute (West Friendship)

AJ Hudson, Percussion (Denver)

Asha Kline, Bassoon (Ellicott City) +

Elissa Volling, Viola (Denver)*

Maxwell Lu, Apprentice Composer (Dayton)


Kara Poling, Oboe (Reisterstown)* +



Tyler Tan, Violin (Cheshire) +



Nathaniel Abreu, Cello (Somerville)


Joshua Halberstadt, Viola (Framingham)

Gisel Dominguez, Bass (Miami)


Annabella Paolucci, Violin (West Palm Beach)


Marion Pope, Viola (Winter Park)

Kelly Avila, Viola (Norton Shores)

William Ramos, Bassoon (Palm Harbor) +


Carlos Walker, Viola (St. Petersburg)


Samuel Watson, Bassoon (Jacksonville)

Olivia Bennett, Apprentice Composer (Springfield)





Joy Best, Apprentice Orchestra Manager (Alpharetta)

Lourdes Pinney, Viola (Henderson)

Noah Daniel, Bass (Powder Springs)


Juliyan Martinez, Clarinet (Powder Springs)

New Hampshire

Patrick Sorah, Percussion (Jefferson)

Cody York, Trumpet (Canterbury)

Zoe Willingham, Violin (Atlanta)



South Carolina

New Jersey

Philip Rawlinson, Viola (Greenville)

Kristy Chen, Violin (Princeton Junction)

Will Rawlinson, Cello (Greenville)

Laura Futamura, Flute (Middletown)*+


Dylan Hamme, Violin (Leonia)

South Dakota

Sanford Whatley, Viola (Tenafly)

Anna Kruse, Apprentice Librarian (Huron)



New York


Serena Bangia, Percussion (Buffalo)*

Mason Crowder, Violin (Knoxville)

Lawrence Chai, Viola (Mount Sinai) +

Sasha Hitachi-Kizziah, Flute (Chattanooga) +

Catherine Deskur, Bass (Vestal)* +

Xavion Patterson, Bassoon (Smyrna)

Dustin Hobin, Bass (Gainesville)

Jacks Pollard, Oboe (Chattanooga)

Eliana Lee, Violin (Bedford Corners) +


Alessandra Liebmann, Horn (Buffalo)


Benjamin Mekinulov, Cello (Buffalo)

Brandon Aguillon, Horn (Austin)

Christine Ott, Horn (Rochester)

Dillon Akerman, Percussion (Mansfield)

Daniel Simmons, Viola (Queens) +

Eli Canales, Trombone (San Antonio) +

Benito Vargas, Tuba (Highland)

Andre Daniel, Violin (Dallas)

Dylan Shih Wu, Cello (Manhasset)

Gabriel Fedak, Violin (Dallas)


Audrey Jellett, Cello (Kerrville)

North Carolina

Elliot Kim, Violin (Austin)

Andrew DeWeese, Violin (Charlotte)

Robert Lynn Kohler, Bass (McAllen)

Ruth Kelley, Violin (Winston-Salem)*

Adam Kuhn, Clarinet (San Antonio)

Sophia Knappe, Cello (Raleigh)

Donovan McManus, Horn (Carrollton)

Andre Richter, Horn (Greenville)

Donovan Neal, Bassoon (Arlington)

Tim Rinehart, Bass (Chapel Hill)*

Cecilia O’Brien, Violin (Dallas)


Gabriel Ortiz, Trumpet (San Marcos)* +

North Dakota

Griffin Rupp, Trombone (Corpus Christi)

Aiden Krogh, Cello (Grand Forks) +

Lia Stallman, Viola (Houston)


Carys Sutherland, Horn (Southlake)*



Benjamin Martz, Viola (Perrsyburg)



Ben J. D’Haiti, Trumpet (Oakton)


Colin Hill, Cello (Vienna)

Henry Ingels, Violin (Norman)

Annika Hsu, Violin (Vienna)*

Naomi Wharry, Trombone (Idabel)


Sylvan Zhang, Violin (Stillwater)*



Hugo Bliss, Horn (Seattle) *


Sophie Denhard, Bass (Seattle)

Joshua Arce, Flute (Salem)

Eliot Lee, Bass (Seattle)*

Benjamin Price, Oboe (Portland)

Bram Schenck, Clarinet (Seattle)





Myles Bell, Violin (West Chester) +

Coleton Morgan, Oboe (Hartville) +

Peirce Ellis, Viola (Philadelphia) +


About the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America
Each summer, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute brings together the finest young musicians from across the country (ages 16-19) to form the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA). Following a comprehensive audition process and a multi-week training residency at Purchase College, State University of New York, with faculty made up of principal players from top professional US orchestras, these remarkable teenagers embark on a tour to some of the great music capitals of the world, serving as America’s dynamic music ambassadors. As part of their travel schedule, NYO-USA musicians also have the opportunity to meet and collaborate with local young musicians and experience the richness of the local culture.

Launched in summer 2013 to great acclaim, the first-ever National Youth Orchestra of the USA presented concerts with conductor Valery Gergiev and violinist Joshua Bell to enthusiastic audiences at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.; St. Petersburg and Moscow in Russia; and at the BBC Proms in London. The 2014 orchestra, led by American conductor David Robertson with violinist Gil Shaham as soloist, made its debut at Carnegie Hall in New York City, followed by a coast-to-coast US tour. In 2015, NYO-USA, with conductor Charles Dutoit and pianist YUNDI, made its debut in China with a seven-city tour, performing at some of the country’s greatest concert halls, including the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. In 2016, the orchestra performed with conductor Christoph Eschenbach and pianist Emanuel Ax at Carnegie Hall before embarking on a European tour with Valery Gergiev and Denis Matsuev. The 2017 orchestra traveled to Latin America for the first time, performing in Mexico, Ecuador, and Colombia under the direction of Marin Alsop. In July 2018, NYO-USA returned to Asia, with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, performing in Taipei, Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, and Daejeon. In 2019, the orchestra returned to Europe with conductor Sir Antonio Pappano and Magdalena Kožená in Berlin followed by concerts with mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato with concerts in Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Germany.

NYO-USA is one of Carnegie Hall’s three acclaimed national youth orchestras, which also includes NYO2 for outstanding classical musicians (ages 14–17), and NYO Jazz for the nation’s finest jazz instrumentalists (ages 16–19).

* * * * *

Lead Donors: Hope and Robert F. Smith, Marina Kellen French and the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, The Kovner Foundation, Beatrice Santo Domingo, and Nicola and Beatrice Bulgari.

Global Ambassadors: Hope and Robert F. Smith, and Maggie and Richard Tsai.

NYO-USA Sponsor: United Airlines®, Official Airline of Carnegie Hall.

Major funding has been provided by The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Carl Jacobs Foundation, JMCMRJ Sorrell Foundation, and Joyce and George Wein Foundation, Inc.

Additional funding has been provided by Sarah Arison, The Jack Benny Family Foundation, Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, and Mary Anne Huntsman Morgan and The Huntsman Foundation.

Founder Patrons: Blavatnik Family Foundation; Nicola and Beatrice Bulgari; The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; Marina Kellen French and the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation; The Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Family Foundation; Ronald O. Perelman; Robertson Foundation; Beatrice Santo Domingo; Hope and Robert F. Smith; Sarah Billinghurst Solomon and Howard Solomon; and Joan and Sanford I. Weill and the Weill Family Foundation.

Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.

* * * * *

To learn more about NYO-USA, visit carnegiehall.org/nyousa.

Like NYO-USA on Facebook at facebook.com/nyousa.

Follow NYO-USA on Instagram at instagram.com/nyo.usa.

See more from NYO-USA on YouTube at youtube.com/nyousa.

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