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HCPSS Students Selected to Participate in Carnegie Hall National Youth Orchestra Programs

May 22nd, 2023

Four Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) students have been selected to participate in Carnegie Hall’s prestigious National Youth Orchestra programs this summer. Olivia Cai (Marriotts Ridge High School), Samuel Lee (Atholton High School), and James Obasiolu (Atholton High School), who play violin, bassoon, and cello respectively, will participate in NYO2, a summer orchestral training program for outstanding American instrumentalists ages 14–17. Additionally, Yunah Kwon (Centennial High School) will participate in the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA), a group consisting of the nation’s top musicians between the ages of 16 and 19.

“These are incredibly competitive programs to gain acceptance into, and we could not be more proud of our HCPSS students on this accomplishment,” said James Woomert, Orchestra director at Atholton High School. “It is fantastic to see this number of students from Howard County be successful in seeking these opportunities. It speaks to the hard work and dedication of the students, and the musically supportive environment we have in our communities.”

As NYO2 participants, Cai, Lee and Obasiolu will participate in an intensive two-week training residency at Purchase College and perform at Carnegie Hall on July 15. They then will travel to the Dominican Republic, where they will perform two concerts and take part in cross-cultural youth exchange activities.

As a member of the NYO-USA, Kwon also will participate in a two-week training program at Purchase College and a concert at Carnegie Hall on July 14. Kwon will travel with the group on its North American tour, which includes stops in Quebec, Massachusetts, Texas, Wyoming and California.

All four students will have the opportunity to work with acclaimed conductors and musicians as part of their involvement in the Carnegie Hall youth programs.

“We continue to be awed and inspired by the accomplishments of our young musicians,” says Terry Eberhardt, HCPSS’ Music coordinator. “These accomplishments are a testament to the outstanding ecosystem of private teachers, music educators, and community partners committed to musical excellence. Congratulations to the students, teachers and families.”