NJSO Youth Orchestras Spotlight: Class of 2020

July 23, 2020

NJSO Youth Orchestras Spotlight Presented by M&T Bank

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Members of the Class of 2020 reflect on their time in the NJSO Youth Orchestras.

NJSO Youth Orchestras Class of 2020: In Their Own Words

Having the opportunity to play here, amongst many talented individuals, has made me grow as a musician. Each instrument working together as one creates a magical moment and motivates me to work harder. I especially loved working as a mentor for the Training Ensemble because helping enthusiastic musicians who are eager to learn brings me joy.

Kelly Cha, violin

It is incredible to see how much my friends and I have grown since our first experience in the NJSO Youth Orchestras to now. I am always grateful to see the warm smiles of the NJSO faculty on Saturday mornings that give off a family and cozy ambiance. I am thankful to have been given a voice in the NJSO orchestra.

Noel Cho, cello

I am thankful for the great experiences I had mentoring after orchestra in the MANY program. Having the opportunity to mentor other students using what I learned from the coaches and my own private teachers was perhaps my favorite part of being in this orchestra.

Siobhan Flaherty, violin

 Being taught by and playing alongside professional musicians has been a thrill! It has been an honor to work with [Artistic Director] José Luis Domínguez.

Henry Mielarczyk, bassoon

The Academy Orchestra has always challenged me, from my first encounters with orchestral music to a deeper level of nuance and interpretation.

Edward Mistretta, trombone

Though I’ve only been in NJSO for three years, this short experience has been a valuable one. I’ve improved as a violinist thanks to [String Ensemble Leader Naomi] Youngstein, maestro José Luis Domínguez and my peers, and I’ve created new relationships that I’ll always cherish.

Vanessa Qiu, violin

I’ve been playing in the NJSO Youth Orchestras since the fifth grade. I remember my first day, looking up at all the big kids in high school who seemed so mature and tall and hardworking. Time flies, and now I am one of the big kids.

Margaret “Maggie” Wang, violin

Thank you to my viola coach [Martin] Andersen for teaching me how to play not notes, but music; to my conductor, Maestro Domínguez, for leading such a brilliant orchestra; and to [NJSO Director of Education Joanna Borowski] for making such an opportunity possible.

Jacqueline “Jackie” Wu, viola

My experience in [the Academy Orchestra] has both challenged and enriched my high-school cello career in ways that I never expected. When I first started in 2014, I was immediately blown away by the superior intensity and passion that everyone brought forward. I am incredibly grateful to be part of a beautiful community that I am sure will always remain in my memory.

Josephine “Josie” Wu, cello


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