1. Why NYSSSA? (why audition, why did you decide to attend?)
I had two friends from my area that had attended the School of Orchestral Studies the year before I did, and they both sang very high praises about the program. I thought it was really great that we had the opportunity to work with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra during the program, and that was definitely a deciding factor in my attendance, in addition to my general love of music and performing.
2. How did you find out about NYSSSA?
As previously stated, two of my friends attended NYSSSA a year prior and both recommended it. My band director also recommended that I audition for the program.
3. Typical Day/Schedule at NYSSSA?
Music, music, and more music! I would wake up each morning around 7‐8, and go to breakfast after gettingready. After breakfast we would go to full orchestra from 9‐12, which was a lot of work, but so worthwhile in the end! We would then go to another meal following orchestra, and depending on the day, we'd either go to our elective class (I took improvisation, it was super fun!) followed by wind ensemble/string orchestra, or go to coaching/sectionals with the Philadelphia Orchestra, which were incredibly helpful and I still apply everything I learned in those sessions all the time. After this, we'd go to dinner, and again depending on the day, go to chamber ensembles rehearsal or go to a Philadelphia Orchestra performance at SPAC! Both options were great, all of the people in my quintet were super easy to get along with, really nice, and all SPECTACULAR musicians! I felt right at home. And it was always fun to get to hang out with friends at SPAC and enjoy some wonderful music.
4. Best Moment at NYSSSA?
I was literally speechless when I discovered that I was principal oboe. Coming from a small school, it didn't seem likely that I would be able to get a seat so prestigious, so it was an incredible honor to have this happen. That was a wonderful moment, but I wouldn't say my best since that seems conceited...I would have to say that my best moments at NYSSSA would have to be all the time I spent with the new friends I made, all of whom I am still quite close to and will never forget. It was also super cool to form a barbershop quartet with Andrew, Victor, and Ryan, who are all wonderful vocalists in addition to instrumentalists!
5. Why would you encourage someone to audition for NYSSSA?
NYSSSA was by far the best month of my life. It is such a rewarding program and it is the most fun that anyone with a love of music could ever have. It may seem a bit intimidating at first, but don't let it be! Everyone there was super kind and helpful and I learned so much. Don't let the audition scare you. I was terrified that I wasn't going to make it, but I did and it was wonderful! It'll be worth it. It changed my life and it can change yours too.