On January 24 and 25, 2015, The New York Pops held auditions for its Kids on Stage program, which gives middle school students the opportunity to have a professional performance experience. Twenty students from eleven different schools in New York City were selected from a pool of 71 applicants. These students will perform alongside New York Pops musicians, conducted by Music Director Steven Reineke, at the orchestra’s 32nd Birthday Gala at Carnegie Hall on May 4, 2015.
Kids on Stage students will first have three rehearsals with their peers and PopsEd Teaching Artists, one additional rehearsal led by Reineke, as well as the dress rehearsal for the concert at Carnegie Hall. In addition, five of these exceptional students will receive a full three-week scholarship to the French Woods Music Festival in Hancock, NY, for advanced musical studies.
“Kids on Stage fills the huge gap that exists in today’s music education system. The students are asked to prepare a piece of music, play basic scales and also sight read in a format similar to an orchestral audition. This provides the students with the unique opportunity to go through a true audition process. We heard many levels of accomplishment, from players who had been playing only a year to others who were quite advanced. Regardless of their level, I think that every player can benefit from this process. And of course the winners get to play on the stage of Carnegie Hall, surrounded by a professional orchestra!” says Neil Balm, New York Pops Principal Trumpet and Judge.