JYMS students NY-bound
Published 8:01 pm Monday, May 18, 2015
Two John Yeates Middle School students are set to perform in the 2015 Middle School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall.
Jaylon Hayes-Keller, an eighth-grader who plays the viola, and seventh-grader Cree Diggs-Brown, who plays the cello, have been accepted into the Honors Junior Orchestra.
Linda Hurwitz, orchestra director at John Yeates and Lakeland High School, said the students are “very excited.” “There were approximately 100 other students selected from around the country,” she said.
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“Each of them prepared an audition tape in the fall of 2014, and they received notification in March 2015.”
To help fund the expensive trip to New York, each student received a $1,000 scholarship from the Suffolk Education Foundation.
“Both of them have remarked how grateful they are for the funding assistance from the foundation,” Hurwitz said. “Without that, they would not have been able to participate.”
Hurwitz said Cree has been playing her instrument for two years, and Jaylon his for three years.
“I would say they are both extremely conscientious and dedicated to their instruments,” she said.
Hurwitz has an idea about what her students can expect — she performed at Carnegie in 1997.
“It’s thrilling,” she said. “I would say it’s the thrill of a lifetime, because it is so acoustically fabulous.
“I think they are going to remember it forever.”
The students’ applications were evaluated by “an expert board of professional musicians,” according to the website for the performance series.
The five-day itinerary includes time to explore tourist attractions like Times Square, 5th Avenue, the Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, as well as an evening Broadway show.
The orchestra also has five rehearsal sessions, before performing on the evening of June 27 and leaving for home the next day.
“They are in different classes, so they will get know each other better, and make new friends,” Hurwitz said.
“I think that’s very exciting.”