Some musicians wait their entire careers to perform at New York City's Carnegie Hall, but a group of Seattle teens have their chance now.
In December 2015, Ballard High School's wind ensemble auditioned to perform on arguably the greatest stage in the country, if not the world, and they were accepted into the New York International Music Festival.
They are one of eight groups selected. Other groups hail from Australia and Wales, among other countries.
The wind ensemble will play at Central Park on Monday and then at Carnegie Hall on Tuesday. During the latter, they have 20 minutes to perform a perhaps once-in-a-lifetime show.
“Carnegie Hall is like…,” Ballard High School senior Forrest Hsu sighed, unable to quite grasp the gravity of the venue. “So many people dream of playing on that stage and most don’t.”
“It's kind of one of those things where you can't really comprehend how awesome it's going to be. I know it's going to be amazing to go there and be able to play on that stage where so many famous people have played on,” senior Deven Chedalawada said.
Band Director Michael James selected Overture of Candide by Leonard Bernstein, who made his debut at Carnegie Hall, and Give Us this Day by David Maslanka.
“It's kind of a spiritual piece with a slow ethereal opening and then a fast energetic second movement,” James said of Give Us this Day.
James says festivals like these give young musicians opportunities other generations did not have.
“I grew up in a tiny town, and something like this never would have been in our grasp,” James said. “So as a teacher to bring it to my students it's even that much more meaningful.”