Budget problems are forcing schools across the country to cut back on arts education, including music programs. But the New York Youth Symphony (NYYS) offers top musicians ages 12 to 22 an amazing alternative: a free music education.
The NYYS has five programs—orchestra, chamber music, jazz, conducting and composing. It's tough to get accepted and tough once you're in. "I practice the flute about three hours a day," Michael Alampi, 16, told TFK. That's on top of regular school.
A Golden Anniversary
In 1963, the NYYS debuted at Carnegie Hall, in New York City. Itzhak Perlman played—before he became one of the world's most famous violinists. More than 5,000 students have since studied at NYYS.
The program helps young composers get their music heard. "Our First Music program allows a young composer to have an original piece performed by the orchestra at every concert in Carnegie Hall," says Joshua Gersen (right), music director of the NYYS orchestra.
On November 25, a concert at Carnegie Hall celebrated NYYS's 50th anniversary. This year's original piece was written by Gabriel Zucker, 21. It combines a symphony orchestra and a jazz band. "Rarely do I get to hear performers bring what I've written to life as beautifully as the NYYS did," says Zucker.
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