NWSA music students selected for the prestigious National Youth Orchestra of the United States

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high school music students Jason Arevalo and Athalie Claude-Lilia VavalMIAMI– Two students from Miami’s New World School of the Arts high school music division are among the teenage musicians who will soon tour the United States, from coast to coast, playing with the prestigious National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA). Selected from approximately 1000 applicants from across the nation, Athalie Claude-Lilia Vaval (viola) and Jason Arevalo (violin) will join 118 of the finest US music students as they embark in the program’s 2014 Summer Tour, led by conductor David Robertson and accompanied by renowned violinist Gil Shaham.

Selected from exceptional young musicians from 35 US states, Vaval and Arevalo underwent a comprehensive audition process that secured their coveted spot in the orchestra and offered them the promise of a life-changing musical and cultural experience. “I am inspired by the effect that music has - music is universal,” said Jason. “I feel as if music is my primary language; finding that there are things which I can only express through music.”
Arevalo, who picked up the violin only because he “saw a group of student violinists when [he] was in elementary school,” performed his first solo in 2006 and has continued his involvement with respected symphonies including Greater Miami Youth Symphony and the New World Symphony. He has also received numerous awards and scholarships – most recently the Hollywood Music Club’s Summer Music Study Scholarship, and scholarships to attend the Eastern Music Festival and Brevard Music Center. He considers his most recent achievement, however – the capstone of his dreams, “Being accepted into the National Youth Orchestra exceeds anything I imagined myself being a part of.  Getting to play in some of the greatest halls in the US, such as Carnegie Hall and the Walt Disney Concert Hall, touring with artists like Gil Shaham and David Robertson are all things I only imagined accomplishing as an established professional musician. It’s like all my dreams are already coming true and that I’m starting to exceed those dreams.”
Athalie was born in New York and started to play the violin there at the age of three and changed to viola at the age of eight. She was a member of the Greater Miami Youth Symphony (GMYS) for five years where she collaborated with artists such as Nestor Torres, Il Volo and the Opera Singer, Elizabeth Caballero. Athalie won the GMYS competition during her third year in the orchestra and became the principal violist in the senior orchestra and received honorable mentioned at the New World Symphony side-by-side competition.  She was also a finalist in 2013 at her school competition and at New World symphony Side-by Side competition. Athalie had the opportunity to play four times with the New World Symphony Orchestra and once under the baton of Maestro Michael Tilson Thomas. She participated twice in the Florida All-State and also was a participant in the Florida Music Federation Club where she received Excellent Rating for both concerto and solo competitions.  She was a scholarship recipient from the University Of Miami Frost School Of Music Young Musician’s Camp, The Coral Gables Music Club and a winner of the Hollywood Music Club summer studies scholarship competition. Athalie has been accepted as a member of The National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America for the summer of 2014 tour.
Phase one of the program will begin on July 5th as the students attend an intensive two-week training residency on the campus of Purchase College, SUNY, that will allow them the opportunity to hone their craft alongside peers from across the nation. The musicians will partakie in full and sectional orchestral rehearsals under the direction of James Ross,workshops lead by respected professional musicians and principal players from some of the country’s best professional orchestras including the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, and Los Angeles Philharmonic among others and social cultural gatherings.
The second part of the program is just as exciting as the students embark in aneight-city tour across the United States to showcase their music. On July 20th The National Youth Orchestra of the United States will debut with a performance at the Perming Arts Center in Purchase, NY. The next concert, on July 22, takes them to NY City’s Carnegie Hall, where the concert will be made accessible worldwide digitally and via broadcast by Carnegie Hall Live – a partnership with WQXR and American Public Media.
During the tour the teenagers will have the opportunity to interpret a premiere of a new work from American composer Samuel Carl Adams, commissioned by Carnegie Hall especially for NYO-USA; Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story; Benjamin Britten’s Violin Concerto with Mr. Shaham; and Ravel’s arrangement of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.
“The launch of the National Youth Orchestra of the USA in 2013 exceeded all our expectations, and it is with great enthusiasm that we bring a wonderful new group of musicians together for another summer of top music-making in the program’s second year,” said Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall’s Executive and Artistic Director. “The depth of musical talent found across this country is remarkable and the young players who make up NYO-USA’s 2014 roster are amongst the very best.”
The venues for the 2014 Summer Tour include: the Tanglewood Music Festival in Lenox, Massachusetts; the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago; the Appalachian Summer Festival in Boone, N.C.; the Grand Teton Music Festival in Teton Village, Wyoming; Sonoma State's Green Music Center in Rohnert Park, California; and The Music Center's Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.
Launched in summer 2013 to great critical acclaim, the first-ever National Youth Orchestra of the USA presented concerts with conductor Valery Gergiev and violinist Joshua Bell for enthusiastic audiences in Washington DC; St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russia; and at the BBC Proms in London, England. In its second year, the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America is comprised of 120 students from 35 US states between the ages of 16 and 19. The students must undergo a comprehensive audition process in order to occupy the coveted seats in the orchestra. NYO-USA operates under the Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute.
About New World School of the Arts (NWSA):
At NWSA, Miami’s premiere eight-year arts conservatory, music students receive one-on-one instruction from accomplished musicians and grow through disciplined guidance and training as they develop their personal style and repertoire. Through its educational partnerships, NWSA’s audition-based programs, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art, Dance, Music and Theater, offer the high school diploma as well as the BFA and BM college degrees. Areas of concentration in Music include: composition, performance,instrumental, piano, strings and voice.
New World School of the Arts was created by the Florida Legislature as a center of excellence in the performing and visual arts. It is an educational partnership of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College and the University of Florida.
For information about New World School of the Arts please visit http://nwsa.mdc.edu or call 305-237-3135, or305-237-7855.