Youth orchestra to pack Carnegie Hall for annual concert

Bill San Antonio

The Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York is returning to perform at the historic Carnegie Hall for the seventh consecutive year this Sunday.

And this year, they’re packing the house.

About 960 musicians from its orchestral and choral programs ranging from ages eight to 18 are due to perform, the most the Manhasset-based organization has ever sent.

“You can see it on the kids’ faces the first time they step out onto that stage for dress rehearsal. The eyes pop, the mouth drops,” said Anthea Jackson, the orchestra’s executive director. “They understand who else has been on that stage, they can hear how beautiful that sound is from a performer’s perspective, and from the audience’s perspective. They know they’re part of a much larger legacy.”

The Carnegie Hall trip marks one of four major concerts that the organization, which has students from Nassau and Suffolk and rehearses out of Herricks’ middle and high schools and at Sequoia High School in Holtsville, participates in each year.

In addition to routinely playing community centers, afterschool programs and sporting events, the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York also holds annual concerts at Adelphi University, the Staller Center for the Arts at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts at LIU Post.

But Carnegie Hall, Jackson said, is the crown jewel in the orchestra’s performance schedule.

“It’s exciting to watch our conductors, too, because those that have done it multiple times keep coming back and that gets the kids excited,” she said. “They never lose the excitement of walking out on that stage and experiencing that sound.”

Fourteen of the organization’s groups — seven orchestras and seven choirs — are set to perform works by Beethoven, Brahms, Copland, Dukas, Holst, Stravinsky, Wagner and Eric Whitacre, among others. 

Shows are at 12:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall, located at 881 7th Ave. in Manhattan.

Tickets are on sale from $12.50 to $55 and can be purchased at

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