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NYO2 Profile: Kara Poling

Oboist Kara Poling reflects on last year's experience with NYO2, and looks forward to this summer with the orchestra.

Kara Poling, Oboe
Reisterstown, Maryland
NYO2 2016 and 2017

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I heard about NYO2 when I was looking for a challenging ensemble to participate in over the summer for someone my age. I wanted to audition because it is a unique program that challenges students at a level that nothing else does.

I was surprised at how much we felt connected instantly through the music. On the very first afternoon that we arrived, we got together in a small group in order to rehearse the music. We all had such different qualities to offer, coming from so many different states and having such a variety of musical experiences, yet we came together immediately because we all had a passion for making music.

The side-by-sides were opportunities for us to learn and then take our knowledge and share it. I was inspired by mentors in The Philadelphia Orchestra—performers I have always looked up to. A side-by-side with NYO-USA provided the opportunity to come together with more advanced players of our generation, doing something we all love. I was amazed at how much energy filled the room the first time NYO2 played with NYO-USA. When NYO2 had the opportunity to collaborate with the Philadelphia Music Alliance for Youth, we got to mentor other students as we had been mentored throughout the program. It was an incredible opportunity to impact the lives of young musicians by being able to give back some of what we had learned.

NYO2 showed me the power that music has to unite. I made fantastic friends and memories that will last forever. The music brought us together as a family. From the start, I could feel a strong bond with the players in the program.

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I am most looking forward to playing at Carnegie Hall this summer. Seeing it last summer and standing where so many great players have played, I was truly inspired. Finding out that I am playing there is a dream I never expected to come true at the age of 15.

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

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