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NYO-USA Profile: Redd Coltrane Ingram

Bassist Redd Coltrane Ingram reflects on last year's experience with NYO2, and looks forward to this summer with NYO-USA.

Redd Coltrane Ingram, Bass
New Albany, Ohio
NYO2 2016 and NYO-USA 2017

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I began my orchestral career at school, then spent five years in the Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestra system. I perform with local suburban symphonies and travel weekly to Cleveland to play in the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra. One of my favorite groups I perform with is called Urban Strings Columbus. Our repertoire ranges from pop to Puccini, hip-hop to Haydn. We give a lot of concerts in the community and get to engage a lot with our audience. It’s a fun alternative to what you would normally see in the concert hall.

I was very surprised by the incredible talent of last year’s NYO2 group, especially because most of the members were younger than me. I was also pleasantly surprised by the many colors of the orchestra. Playing in an orchestra made up almost entirely of minorities from every corner of the country was an unforgettable experience.

The side-by-side rehearsal and performance with the Philadelphia Music Alliance for Youth last year was eye-opening. I’ll never forget when my stand partner told me how excited he was to be playing with “kids from the National Youth Orchestra,” and how he was going to stick with the bass so he, too, could play in NYO2 or NYO-USA one day. I saw firsthand how much these aspiring musicians looked up to us—it makes me strive to be a better role model every day.

Redd Ingram with NYO2 (Will Figg)
Redd and other members of the NYO2 bass section take a selfie with Philadelphia Orchestra bassists Joseph Conyers and Harold Robinson before their side-by-side concert at Verizon Hall on July 2, 2016. (Photography: Will Figg)

Our mentors from The Philadelphia Orchestra truly taught me the difference between “good” and “great,” in terms of orchestral music performance. Their meticulousness paired with their vibrant encouragement heavily influenced NYO2 to play at a higher level than we knew we were capable of.

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I am very excited to play my first Mahler symphony with NYO-USA this summer. Mahler No. 1 also has a very famous bass solo—we bassists don’t get very many solos in the standard repertoire, so we’ll be having a field day in the bass section! I am also looking forward to working with the incredible Marin Alsop. I’ve listened to so many of her recordings. It is truly an honor to be a member of this orchestra.

Learn more about the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA) and NYO2.

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