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NYO-USA: Making a list, checking it twice

In a little more than two weeks, the musicians of the 2014 National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA) will come together for the first time at Purchase College, SUNY. After a two week training residency, the orchestra will depart on a coast-to-coast US tour, including its debut at Carnegie Hall. The musicians are already preparing, practicing their parts and packing their bags. We asked NYO-USA alumni from the 2013 orchestra to share some advice with the newest NYO-USA musicians. Here are their recommendations for items to be sure to pack:

12 Things to Pack for the NYO-USA Tour


1

Bug Spray

Erika Gray, Viola
“Absolutely remember bug repellent/spray/wipes—the mosquitos as Purchase are vicious. I remember I got about 30 bites (I counted!) on July 4 while playing soccer and watching the fireworks. I brought some but forgot to use them. So, make sure you use them!”
 
Bug Spray
2
Snacks

Snacks

Soyeong Park, Violin
“Bring along a stash of your favorite snack! For me that would be these dark chocolate tidbits and maybe some seaweed snacks. You're going to be visiting the campus store quite often (trust me on this), but the choices are limited so save yourself the effort/money/time/hunger pains. Maybe these can help with your homesickness if and when it hits ... but mostly for munching on during your daily midnight practice sessions.”
 
3

Lint Roller

Giancarlo Latta, Violin
“Don't forget to pack a lint roller to get rid of the many little fuzzies that will cling to your clothes if you so much as lean on your blanket in the dorms! (Can also come in handy on tour, of course!)”
 
Lint Roller
4
Practice Pad

Practice Pad

Eric Goldberg, Percussion
“A few practice materials: a method/etude book plus a practice drum pad, practice mute, or whatever your instrument's equivalent might be. NYO-USA certainly keeps you super busy with rehearsing and performing, but it feels good to make a little time on the side to keep your chops going … though hanging out with awesome people and exploring awesome places should take up most of your free time.”
 
5

Band-Aids

Demi Fang, Violin
“Of course you didn't forget to pack those cute new summer shoes for the trip (especially if you went post-graduation shopping-happy like me)! Wait—brand-new shoes? First-aid is usually a no-brainer for any trip, but make sure you bring plenty of small, blister-sized band-aids, lest you miss out on all the fun because of your chafed heels. Luckily, I had a prepared and super-sweet roommate who lent me some extras when I ran out!”
 
Band-Aids
6
Journal

Journal

Sophia Stoyanovich, Violin
“One thing I found really nice to have afterwards was a book or journal which OTHER members of NYO-USA signed for me at the end of the program, yearbook style. I bought this spiral notebook at the Royal Albert Hall in London and got a bunch of awesome notes from orchestra and staff members!”
Mitchell Kuhn, Oboe
“It's very important to record your experiences during NYO-USA, as it is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I still have my journal and I look at it all the time. If you don't write it down, it can be easy to forget a lot of the little details that are so important!”
 
7

Earbuds

Angelique Montes, Cello
“I'm SO glad I didn't forget these! They came in handy on every flight and bus ride last summer. Plus, it was easier to listen to the repertoire we were playing on the go! I'd def recommend keeping these close by.”
 
Earbuds
8
Blanket

Blanket

Skye Dearborn, Trombone
“Bring your favorite blankie for when dorm bedding just doesn't do the trick! Also handy for flights and bus rides.”
 
9

Nail Clipper

Akshay Dinakar, Violin
“Deodorant, check. Comb, check. Toothbrush, check. Nail clipper? Uh oh. I made the mistake of forgetting to pack my nail clipper for NYO-USA last year, and ended up having to buy another one at the More Store on the Purchase College campus! Anyhow, you don't want to forget your nail clipper, especially if you're a string instrument player.”
 
Nail Clipper
10
Mutes

Mutes

Nathan Wong, Viola
“You can never have too many mutes, especially if your stand partner needs one.”
 
11

Water Bottle

Leah Meyer, Horn
“Purchase can get mighty hot, and with all the traveling (flying especially!) you feel so much better when you're hydrated. A carabiner makes it easy to attach a bottle to your instrument case!”
 
Water Bottle
12
Sharpie

Sharpie

Kevin Li, Violin
“You might need one of these, just in case you want a signature from Gil Shaham ... or if someone asks you for YOUR signature.”
 

Learn more about the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America.