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NYO-USA 2014

The second summer of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America was an opportunity to introduce the orchestra to its home audience in a coast-to-coast tour featuring two of America’s leading musicians, conductor David Robertson and violinist Gil Shaham. It also saw the debut of NYO-USA in its home venue at Carnegie Hall, in front of a full house and as part of WQXR / America Public Media’s Carnegie Hall Live radio broadcast series. This 2014 program featured not only two spectacular showpieces for the orchestra (Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition) but also the deeply moving Violin Concerto of Benjamin Britten and a new work written for NYO-USA—Radial Play by young American composer Samuel Adams.

Download the 2014 NYO-USA Commemorative Book.

Orchestra Director James Ross returned to prepare the orchestra during its residency at Purchase College, SUNY, and a group of new and returning faculty members from the top US orchestras were again on hand to provide expert coaching to NYO-USA’s 120 players, 24 of whom were veterans of the inaugural year. A highlight of the residency was a live taping of NPR’s hit radio show From the Top, hosted by Christopher O’Riley and featuring the full orchestra and several of its members in performances and interviews. Each instrument section also introduced itself to the world with a video devised by and featuring its members, while the entire orchestra recorded three web-exclusive performance videos with a distinctly American flavor.

NYO-USA’s tour took it from Tanglewood in Massachusetts’s Berkshires to Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles, with stops in Boone, North Carolina; Chicago, Illinois; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; and Sonoma, California. (Please see below for full concert details.) Along the way, the players had the chance to visit a North Carolina blueberry festival, embark on an architectural river cruise of Chicago, hike in Grand Teton National Park, and see the sights of San Francisco. Each concert featured two different members of NYO-USA helping to introduce the program with personal remarks from the stage—a new element that was very well received by the orchestra’s audiences.

Another special focus for NYO-USA in 2014 was community and young-musician engagement. After some preparation during the training residency, players participated in three events that involved interactive performances, side-by-side music making, and mini-workshops for groups of young people in New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Partnering with New York City’s Department of Homeless Services, NYO-USA and the Weill Music Institute’s Community Programs team invited children from the shelter system to Carnegie Hall to meet and hear NYO-USA on the stage of Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage. NYO-USA musicians later collaborated with players from four El Sistema–inspired programs in the Bay Area in a seminario at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre in San Francisco that included a pop-up concert in its iconic rotunda. On the final day of the tour, NYO-USA visited the Hollywood Bowl and worked side-by-side with young musicians from Los Angeles, including members of the El Sistema–inspired YOLA (Youth Orchestra LA).

Meet the Orchestra



Paul Aguilar, Greenville, SC
Jason Arevalo, Miami, FL
Carson Bohner, White Hall, AR
Michael Brown, Hoover, AL
Andrew Burgan, Aurora, CO *
Andrew Cheshire, Merritt Island, FL *
Matthew Chow, Los Altos, CA
David Fickes, Peacham, VT
Willa Finck, Boone, NC
Lily Honigberg, Washington DC
Anna Humphrey, Rogers, MN
Bronwyn James, Seattle, WA


Zakary Joyner, Sallis, MS
Sharon Kim, Belmont, MA
Hannah Lam, Cherry Hill, NJ
James Lin, Bridgewater, NJ
Gordon Ma, Cary, NC
Liam Mansfield, Las Vegas, NV
Keanu Mitanga, Atlanta, GA
Soyeong Park, Princeton Junction, NJ *
Benjamin Parton, Sevierville, TN *
Evan Pasternak, Scotch Plains, NJ
Esther Aviana Platt, Ashland, OR
Emma Richman, Minneapolis, MN


Inori Sakai, Pittsburgh, PA
Sophia Stoyanovich, Bainbridge Island, WA *
Ivan Suminski, Traverse City, MI
Angela Tang, West Linn, OR
Alex van der Veen, Palo Alto, CA
Claire Walter, Keene, NH
Samuel Wang, Medford, NJ
Alexi Whitsel, Longmont, CO
Helen K. Wong, Rochester, NY
Helen Wu, Saratoga, CA
Ann Yu, Hudson, OH
Kevie Yu, Edmond, OK


Rachel Barnett, Westminister, MD
Sean Byrne, Chesterfield, MO *
Arjun Ganguly, St. Cloud, MN *
Nathan Hung, Peachtree City, GA
Tess Jacobson, Bridgewater, NJ
Margaret Klucznik, Glastonbury, CT *
Rosa Ortega, San Juan, PR
Faith Pak, Auburndale, NY
Erin C. Pitts, Atlanta, GA
Katie Reinders, Portland, OR
Josephine Stockwell, El Sobrante, CA
Shan Su, Richardson, TX
Martine Thomas, Rochester, NY *
Athalie Claude-Lilia Vaval, Miami, FL
Nathan Wong, San Gabriel, CA *
Amy Zhang, Princeton, NJ


Clara Abel, Indianapolis, IN *
Georgia Bourderionnet, New Orleans, LA
Audrey Chen, Redmond, WA *
Garrett Chou, Northbrook, IL *
Hana Cohon, Seattle, WA
Eliot Haas, Shreveport, LA
Oliver Herbert, San Francisco, CA
Jeremy Kreutz, Loveland, CO
Kartik Papatla, Mequon, WI *
Bihn Park, Haverford, PA
Evan Wood, Dover, MA
Grant Zempolich, Shaker Heights, OH


Ivan Aidun, Albuquerque, NM
Harrison Dilthey, North Adams, MA
Kathryn Evans, Marietta, GA
Janice Gho, Cupertino, CA
Tristen Jarvis, Colonie, NY
John Mietus, Shaker Heights, OH
Daniel H. Murray, Columbia, SC
Evan Musgrave, Ormond Beach, FL
Chad Wesselkamper, Cincinnati, OH



Carlos Aguilar, Escondido, CA
Abby Easterling, Grapevine, TX
Alejandro Lombo, Miramar, FL
Elizabeth Sperry, Chelmsford, MA *
Annie Wu, Pleasanton, CA *


Kaila DeLany, Tarpon Springs, FL
Cassie Pilgrim, Chamblee, GA
Ryan Roberts, Santa Monica, CA *
Davey Van Beveren, Chesapeake, VA
Gabriel Young, Ashland, OR *


Torin Alexander Bakke, Buffalo Grove, IL
Alex Dergal, Mesa, AZ
Silvio Guitian, Baltimore, MD
Phillip Solomon, Montrose, NY
Dalton Tran, Irvine, CA


Nathan Kirchhoff, San Gabriel, CA *
Rebecca Krown, Quakertown, PA
Miles Shore, Yardley, PA
Reuben Stern, Needham, MA
Cooper Sullivan, Williamsville, NY

Alto Saxophone

Chad Lilley, Olney, MD



Andrew Angelos, Seattle, WA
Nivanthi Karunaratne, Gurnee, IL
Jack McCammon, Naperville, IL
Leah Meyer, Belmont, MA *
Connor Monday, Jacksonville, FL
Caelan Stewart, Clarkston, MI *


Matthew Gajda, Mahwah, NJ *
Madison Lusby, Grapevine, TX
Lincoln Valdez, Austin, TX *
Ricardo Zapata, Chicago, IL


Liam Glendening, Redlands, CA
Brett A. Kelly, Rison, AR
James Tobias, Wynnewood, PA

Bass Trombone

Riley Giampaolo, Houston, TX


Aden Beery, Madison, NC


Timpani and Percussion

Tyler Cunningham, Vienna, VA
Karen Dai, Chicago, IL
Aaron Grisez, Fresno, CA
Adrian Lin, Cupertino, CA
Liam Smith, Minneapolis, MN
David Yoon, Irvine, CA *


Jessica Ding, State College, PA
Molly Ann Langr, Salt Lake City, UT

Orchestral Keyboard

Rebecca Luppe, Kalamazoo, MI


Orchestra Library Apprentice

Trey Sakazaki, Bellevue, WA

Orchestra Management Apprentice

Josh Davidoff, Evanston, IL

* Returning NYO-USA member

David Robertson, Conductor
Gil Shaham, Soloist

James Ross, Orchestra Director
Lee Mills, Assistant Conductor

Robert Chen, Concertmaster, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Jennifer Ross, Principal Second Violin, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Beth Guterman Chu, Principal Viola, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
Mark Kosower, Principal Cello, Cleveland Orchestra
Jeffrey Turner, Principal Bass, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Mark Sparks, Principal Flute, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
Liang Wang, Principal Oboe, New York Philharmonic
Stephen Williamson, Principal Clarinet, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Whitney Crockett, Principal Bassoon, Los Angeles Philharmonic
Erik Ralske, Principal Horn, The MET Orchestra
Thomas Hooten, Principal Trumpet, Los Angeles Philharmonic
Timothy Higgins, Principal Trombone, San Francisco Symphony
Craig Knox, Principal Tuba, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Cynthia Yeh, Principal Percussion, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Jauvon Gilliam, Principal Timpanist, National Symphony Orchestra
Nancy Allen, Principal Harp, New York Philharmonic
Eric Huebner, Pianist, New York Philharmonic

July 16: From the Top: Performing Arts Center, Purchase College, SUNY (Purchase, NY)
July 20: Performing Arts Center, Purchase College, SUNY (Purchase, NY)
July 22: Carnegie Hall (New York, NY)
July 24: Seiji Ozawa Hall, Tanglewood (Lenox, MA)
July 26: Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts (Boone, NC)
July 28: Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park (Chicago, IL)
July 30: Walk Festival Hall (Jackson Hole, WY)
August 2: Sonoma State University's Green Music Center, Weill Hall (Sonoma, CA)
August 4: The Music Center’s Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles, CA)

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