Miami music student to perform with National Youth Symphony

A Miami Arts Charter (MAC) music student, Terrence Smith, has won a coveted spot playing in the violin section of the National Youth Symphony Orchestra (NYO-USA).The NYO-USA recently concluded its first annual nationwide search for teen musicians who will travel to Washington, DC, and Eastern Europe.

The inaugural program, sponsored by Carnegie Hall and Purchase College of the State University of New York, located in Westchester County, chose only 120 students out of an application pool of 10,000. Musicians must be between the ages of 16 and 19 and not yet attending a college or university program, where they would presumably have other opportunities or conflicts with major orchestras. They auditioned by video and applied online.

“I was completely surprised to find out about this amazing opportunity,” Smith said. “The next five months are going to be the longest wait of my life.”

As a member of the tuition-free NYOUSA, between June 30 and July 23, Terrence will work with orchestra director James Ross and the principal players from some of America’s top orchestras during a three-week residency at Purchase College in Purchase, NY. He then will embark on tour with Valery Gergiev, who also is music director of the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, and principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra.

“I think every youth orchestra around the world is very important, and I expect that the National Youth Orchestra of the USA, in particular, will be very highly accomplished, both technically and artistically, noted the maestro on Carnegie Hall’s blog.

“I look forward to getting to know many new, gifted musicians — sharing ideas, learning together, and going on a cultural journey, discovering new places,” he added. “For students, I expect playing in NYO-USA will be an honor, a challenge, a pleasure, and an unforgettable experience not to be missed.”

The ensemble will be backing violin soloist Joshua Bell while traveling to Washington, DC; St. Petersburg (Russia); Moscow, and London.

“Not only is this going to be a great musical and educational experience, but it will change his life forever in all other aspects,” said Aleksander Djuric, MAC’s associate conductor. “I had a similar experience in the European Youth Orchestra my last year of high school and, for me, the most valuable were the longlasting friendships established back then and being surrounded by high quality musicians, which is paying dividends now almost 30 years later.”

Like Djuric, Clive Gillinson, Carnegie’s executive and artistic director, played in such an orchestra in his youth. His experience as cellist for the NYO of Great Britain inspired his creation of the NYO-USA.

“It was an inspiration, part of why I wanted to take up music,” he told The New York Times in January 2012, when the program was first announced to the public.

MAC founder and director Alfred de la Rosa, who is also the instrumental music conductor, said, “It is truly a pleasure to see such a deserving musician be recognized. Terrence’s acceptance to the National Youth Orchestra, though not surprising, is a very important personal achievement for him. He is a stellar musician and I am proud to have witnessed his growth at MAC. I expect to see many more great accomplishments from this great young musician.”

Miami Arts Charter School is located at 3900 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33138. For more information about Miami Arts Charter, visit online at

Founded in 2009 by Alfred de la Rosa and Christine de la Rosa, both of whom also teach music at the school, Miami Arts Charter School provides a rigorous academic education, with special emphasis placed on the performing and expressive arts. For more information about NYOUSA, visit online at

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