Release Date: 5/23/2018
Contact: Office of Communications, 443.809.5908

Two BCPS students only students from Maryland selected for the 2018 National Youth Orchestra

Students to perform this summer in New York and Asia

TOWSON, MD — Bassoonist Vincent Igusa of Towson High School and oboist Kara Poling of Franklin High School are among the 106 musicians selected for the sixth annual National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA).

Igusa and Poling are the only two students to represent Maryland on this year’s orchestra. Both have been participants in NYO2, a program for talented musicians, ages 14 – 17 interested in the classical orchestral field.

NYO-USA was created by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute and recognizes the finest young musicians from across the nation, ages 16 – 19. They are selected through a competitive and comprehensive audition process. This year’s orchestra will include young musicians from 28 states and Puerto Rico.

Igusa, Poling, and the other NYO-USA musicians will travel to New York in early July to begin a three-week training residency on the campus of Purchase College, SUNY, working with principal players from some of the finest professional orchestras. The faculty will oversee rehearsals during the orchestra’s residency in Purchase and will also lead master classes, chamber music readings, and other seminars on essential music skills, all leading up to the launch of NYO-USA’s annual tour.
As part of the training residency, the musicians of NYO-USA will take part in a free side-by-side rehearsal and performance with NYO2 and local musicians from the New York City area at 583 Park Avenue on July 7. They have also been invited to perform chamber music at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts on July 15. NYO-USA then takes the Carnegie Hall stage for its annual concert on July 19, to be heard by music lovers worldwide via the Carnegie Hall Live broadcast and digital series, created in partnership with WQXR. Tickets for the Carnegie Hall performance are on sale now at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800, or online.

Following their New York appearances, NYO-USA flies to Asia for a tour of some of the continent’s music capitals, including performances in Taipei, Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, and Daejeon. This summer’s tour will include debut performances in Taipei and South Korea, with opportunities for the NYO-USA musicians to tour each city they visit, meet local young musicians, and experience the richness of Asian culture. NYO-USA will travel to Asia with world-renowned conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, presenting a new work by composer Ted Hearne, specially commissioned by Carnegie Hall for NYO-USA, alongside Sibelius’s Symphony No. 2 and Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F Major with acclaimed pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet.

“We are thrilled to have the National Youth Orchestra of the USA returning to Asia in summer 2018 under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas," said Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall’s executive and artistic director. “The musicians who make up NYO-USA’s 2018 roster are among the very best players in the country. This promises to be an unforgettable summer of new discoveries for them, offering opportunities to present extraordinary performances around the world and to serve as wonderful musical ambassadors for their country."

Igusa is a Grade 11 student at Towson High. He received an honorable mention in the 2018 National YoungArts Classical Music discipline and received third place at the 2018 Music Teacher's National Association Senior Woodwind Competition, national division. He has qualified for BCPS and Maryland All-State music events and ensembles dating back to his middle school years.
“He is one of the very finest musicians I have ever taught," said David Rhen, Towson High’s music department chair.

Poling, a Grade 10 student at Franklin High, is a member of the Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestra. She was principal chair oboe in the 2017-2018 All-County Honors Band, and she performed in the 2018 Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Side-by-Side Concert.

“Kara demonstrates a high level of musicianship and professionalism on a daily basis," said Allen G. Kessell, Franklin High’s director of instrumental music. “Her attitude and exceptional leadership skills have had a positive impact on the students around her, motivating them to raise the bar in the quality of their performance. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this honor."

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