Who’s made it into the 2022 National Youth Orchestra of the USA?

Who’s made it into the 2022 National Youth Orchestra of the USA?


norman lebrecht

March 11, 2022

Quite a lot from Texas, not many from New York.

Here’s the list:
Luis Pedro Alasuuraq Munoz, Violin (Anchorage) +

Lydia Hanje, Trumpet (Vestavia Hills) +

Connor Cowart, Horn (Bentonville) +

Amy Jong, Cello (Diamond Bar)
Irene Lee, Cello (Irvine) *
Esteban Lindo, Bass (Los Angeles) +
Marena Miki, Violin (Los Angeles)
Sarah Kave, Cello (Los Angeles) *+
Janice Hur, Harp (La Cañada)
Elliot Kim, Cello (Los Altos)
Emily Hwang, Viola (Palo Alto)
Jenna Seohyeong Kang, Violin (Palo Alto)
Clair Koo, Violin (Palo Alto)
Erica Wang, Flute (San Diego) +
Stacy Widyono, Violin (San Diego) *
Shannon Ma, Violin (Saratoga)
Jacqueline Guo, Percussion (San Jose) +
Suzuka Wada, Violin (San Mateo)
Milan Rohatgi, Violin (Stanford)

AJ Hudson, Percussion (Centennial) *
Josh Felser, Viola (Denver)
Ben Koenig, Violin (Fort Collins)

Tyler Tan, Violin (Cheshire) * +
Aliza Creel, Viola (Middlebury)

Ian Woodrich, Viola (Cocoa)
George Lawson, Violin (Orlando)
Douglas Dyer, Violin (Rockledge) *
Nicholas Ivy, Horn (St. Petersburg)
William Mathangani, Viola (Tampa) +

Jonathan Fuller, Cello (Atlanta) *
Ryan Clever, Flute (Cumming) *
Jack Ramu, Trumpet (Cumming) +
Bria Rives, Bass (Fayetteville) *
Tobias Liu, Violin (Johns Creek)
Jason Seo, Viola (Johns Creek)
Cameron Hall, Tuba (Newnan)

Claire Yoo, Violin (Idaho Falls) +

William Tan, Cello (Chicago)
Aidan Daniels, Violin (Frankfort) * +
Adriana Koch, Oboe (Gurnee)
William Lewis, Trumpet (Highland Park)
Noah Jung, Clarinet (Hoffman Estates) +
Taki Salameh, Apprentice Composer (Skokie)

Loxea Hipsky, Viola (Guilford)

Preston Atkins, Bassoon (Cedar Falls)

Mika Gibbs, Violin (Overland Park)

Brennen Taggart, Bass (Lexington)
Adam Kolers, Clarinet (Louisville)

Joshua Kucharski, Trumpet (Bowie)
Brandon Du, Violin (Ellicott City) *
William Zhu, Trombone (Potomac) +

Ethan Fisher-Chaves, Violin (Charlton)

Abi Middaugh, Flute (Ypsilanti)

Izaiah Cheeran, Oboe (Apple Valley) +

Annika Bennion, Violin (Sidney)

Elisabeth Meade, Viola (Omaha)

New Hampshire
Alex Aranzabal, Cello (Londonderry) +

New Jersey
Cadee Lee, Clarinet (Cresskill)
Tienne Yu, Violin (Freehold) * +
Samantha Strickland, Horn (Martinsville) *
Eleanor Ha, Bassoon (Upper Saddle River) +
Ashley Park, Viola (Palisades Park)*

New York
Keneil Soni, Horn (Albertson) +
Lawrence Chai, Viola (Mount Sinai) * +
Serin Isabelle Park, Violin (New York) *
Daniel Choi, Oboe (Pleasantville) +
Carolyn Lau, Flute (Roslyn Heights)
Yuri Lee, Apprentice Composer (Tuckahoe)

North Carolina
Leena Hocutt Duarte, Violin (Cary) *
John-Paul Hernandez, Violin (Farmville)
Mack Jones, Viola (Greenville) *
Elijah Barclift, Horn (Greensboro)
Tristen Johnson, Cello (Raleigh) *
Gavin Hardy, Bass (Winston-Salem) +

Marina Zielger, Violin (Akron)
Moshi Tang, Violin (Cleveland) +
Jamie Park, Bass (Cleveland) +
Tim Barron, Percussion (Solon)

London Faiye Stovall, Horn (Mustang) +

Benjamin Frueh, Violin (Corvallis) *
Keegan Neely, Basson (Portland)
Kira Wang, Cello (Portland) *
Ben Price, Oboe (Portland) *

South Carolina
Preston Spisak, Percussion (Greenville) +

Orlandis Maise, Trombone (Antioch) +
Xayvion Davidson, Apprentice Orchestra Manager (La Vergne) +
Ella Golden, Violin (Memphis) *

Israel MacDonald, Bass (Alamo) +
Suhaas Patil, Violin (Austin)
Christian Luevano, Bass (Denton) *
Samuel Chiedu Onyemordi Igbo, Violin (Boerne) +
Glenn Choe, Timpani and Percussion (Cedar Park) * +
Kimberly Nelson, Trombone (Dallas)
Manaas Varma, Viola (Flower Mound) *
Danielle Yoon, Cello (Frisco)
Grace Koh, Violin (Harker Heights) *
Joseph Escobar, Bass (Houston)
Sydney Wall, Apprentice Orchestra Librarian (Lantana)
Diego Solis, Horn (Laredo)
Robert Lynn Kohler, Bass (McAllen) *
Devin Drinan, Trombone (McKinney)
Jake Glaser, Clarinet (San Antonio)
Ray Zhang, Viola (San Antonio) +
Diego Pena, Bassoon (Southlake)
Keshav Srinivasan, Violin (Sunset Valley) *

Camille Cole, Viola (Salt Lake City)

Brady Mandeville, Violin (Lynchburg)

Celilo Bauman Swain, Cello (Charlotte)

West Virginia
Camden Wentz, Cello (Buckhannon) +


  • Mark says:

    Bravo to all the participants!

  • drummerman says:

    what do the symbols – * + – mean?

  • Texas is a populous state with many well-heeled parents who can afford lessons for their ambitious musical offspring.

    What do the pluses and asterisks mean?

    Principal? Alternate?

    No parking on even side of the street on M W F?

    • Tiredofitall says:

      Yes, Texas has many people due to its seize (number 2 in population and, no surprise, population), but household income is number 22 in the US. So much for the well-heeled argument.

      It has more to do with a long-held statewide commitment to music in the public schools. Diminished of late, but still above most other US states.

    • B M says:

      * Prior NYO-USA member
      + Prior NYO2 member (the younger program of Carnegie Hall)

  • Mick the Knife says:

    Congratulations to all of these young musicians!

  • waw says:

    It’s not so much the state but the towns they come from: they are almost all wealthy towns.

    Wealth and class continue to be the best predictor of access to everything, including, without surprise, classical music.

    Notably, in California where LA has been trying to reproduce El Sistema, you don’t see the payoff here. Well, look, either Dudamel has trained them so well that they are bypassing the national youth orchestra and heading straight to a solo career or full time job, or … wealth and class are still the best predictor of success.

  • anon says:

    It should be noted that this is a Carnegie Hall initiative that happens to use the word “National” in the orchestra’s title. The selection process attempts to include students from as many states as possible.

    A better example of a truly national initiative to recognize and honor United States high school age arts students is the US Presidential Scholars in the Arts Program. Students are not disadvantaged if from a state where there are many applicants worthy of the honor.

    • B M says:

      The whole initiative of NYO IS to represent the USA. I would consider that to be a national approach than if all 109 members came from Texas and California. That is not representative in the slightest, so I think Carnegie’s approach is justified.

  • Jon says:

    No one from PA?

  • Heinz says:

    If this “American” youth orchestra played in Asia, audiences would ask, “Why are those White people in there?!”

    This world is completely upside down.

    • B M says:

      The NYO-USA orchestra is pretty diverse in my opinion, probably more so than NYO2, if you look at both rosters this year. I don’t know what point you are trying to make.

  • Alviano says:

    Texas is a big state. 29 million inhabitants.

  • True North says:

    I’m surprised at how few players there are from certain of the larger states, especially in the Midwest. I wonder if the program is marketed better in some areas than in others.

    • anon says:

      Marketing is often the name of the game. Major teachers in my Midwest city of pre-college age students don’t appear to promote the NYO. I’m sure many area teachers of serious high school music students see better options in summer programs focused on individual study with select faculty and chamber music rather than an orchestra program. Many advanced students have access to fine school year youth orchestras, again negating the need for a summer orchestra program.

      • B M says:

        “I’m sure many area teachers of serious high school music students see better options in summer programs focused on individual study with select faculty and chamber music rather than an orchestra program.”

        That is not the point of the program. In fact, most of the musicians in NYO-USA do not go on to study at conservatory or major in music, but are incredibly gifted in academia and other areas outside of music, and are going to the Ivy League schools and other top tier colleges across the country. Carnegie Hall fully acknowledges that it is not a summer festival for individual growth as a musician, rather, for the experience as acting as an ambassador for the United States and for the experience. And in response to your comment about students having access to fine youth orchestra programs in their area, nothing beats playing with people across the country that you haven’t met previously, with different teaching backgrounds and experiences.

      • B M says:

        Correction: Incredibly gifted in music, as well as academia and other areas of music.

  • EK says:

    Not many from Massachusetts either! Congratulations to all!

  • Margaret Koscielny says:

    Texas has for many years had excellent music education, so this is not surprising. Also, it’s a BIG state. I noticed there are many Asian students in the orchestra.

    • B M says:

      I agree with the many Asian students in the program! I am one of the only two BIPOC violinists in the orchestra this year.

  • fflambeau says:

    This is probably misleading because many areas/states have their own youth symphonies. I don’t think you can say it is representative at all.

    • B M says:

      No program will ever be perfect, mostly because there are multiple factors that contribute to incomplete representation (ex. unqualified applicants from that state, educators not informing students enough about opportunities, etc.) I would say lack of representation would be an Asian and white-only orchestra with all 109 members being from Texas, California, and New York. This is not the case here.

  • Hugo Preuß says:

    Why on earth should anyone on earth (with the possible exception of Americans) care what states they come from? Am I supposed to read anything into the fact that no one hails from Hawaii? Or Wyoming? Or some other states?

    • Tiredofitall says:

      Americans by and large identify by their state of residence. Some by their city of residence.

      Only in times of global conflict–or a highly contested national election–does that identity morph under a united national flag.

      • Hugo Preuß says:

        That is precisely what I meant. To anyone outside the US this is completely irrelevant information.

  • Singeril says:

    It would be interesting to see where these young people study (studied)…perhaps more revealing than from which state they were raised.

  • Amex says:

    Who cares? Doubtful they will amount to anything – too many players out there as it is

    • Tiredofitall says:

      A musical education can aid a child’s development in many ways, not always leading to a career in music.

      Yes, many people care and their children should be applauded for their accomplishments.

      • anon says:

        That is all very true. However, NL’s decision to list the selected students of ONE auditioned summer program suggests that this Carnegie Hall program includes the best of the best. It does not.

        There are many students who should be applauded for the accomplishments in music including many who didn’t bother to apply to the NYO program and some who were rejected from NYO in favor of others from less well represented states.

        NL can do what he wants with his blog, but I wonder why he has chosen this group to laud while, many with even greater accomplishments, go unrecognized.

        • B M says:

          NYO-USA is not an easy feat. All the members, while not being the BEST, are not only talented musicians but show characteristics of ambassadorship and leadership, which is Carnegie Hall’s initiative. Their goal, once again, is not to accept the virtuosos rising soloists of tommorow. It is in your best interest to not diminish the accomplishment, because it is a big one.

    • EK says:

      The kids are impressive and the majority will be going to college—many of those Ivy schools—many come from Juilliard Pre-College—-don’t be a hater—if they are not future players, they will be concertgoers.

  • msc says:

    Of course there are so many from Texas — it’s a redneck cultural backwater, dont’cha know.

  • caranome says:

    are CA and NY Chinese provinces?

    • Tiredofitall says:

      Comments like yours are one reason why we have seen a growth of hate crimes against Asians. They are Americans.

    • Lol says:

      America is a merit-based society. Besides, there are more Koreans than Chinese for both states. Your ignorance is showing.

  • The View from America says:

    And absolutely none from Joe Biden’s Delaware. Must be a conspiracy.

  • Philly Musician says:

    Absolutely none from Pennsylvania inclusive of no one from the greater Philadelphia area looking at NJ and DE too. PA’s PMEA district/regional/state orchestra and bands are very popular and competitive. Philly has two top-class youth orchestras including the PYO machine and obviously boasts a wealth of top professional instructors in the greater Philadelphia area from world-class performing organizations and conservatories and has no lack of upper middle class and wealthy enclaves.

    I’m beginning to suspect whoever made the comment about where NYO is promoted – because the midwest seems to be completely underrepresented along with other notable anomalies such as Philly – must be true.

  • Zach from Texas says:

    Will they actually fulfill the stated mission of playing a summer tour in Europe? Nyo is not commenting to the public, but I’m sure they’ve said something to the young musicians and their families…