One year ago, the Naperville Central orchestra received their first invitation to play at a historical landmark in New York City.
Fifty-six students and four adults spent four days in The Big Apple and played an unforgettable performance at Carnegie Hall on the last day.
Musicians like Billie Holiday, Yo-Yo Ma and Frank Sinatra have all stepped onto that stage, and the kids were almost overwhelmed with excitement.
“I was really nervous, up until I started to solo but once I started, it was just like rehearsal. I practiced so much, there was no way I couldn’t be ready,” said Daniel Ao, sophomore clarinet soloist at NCHS.
The orchestra has been preparing the set list for this once in a lifetime opportunity since October.
“It was amazing, I couldn’t hope for anything better. I walked on the stage and was astounded by what I saw,” said NCHS senior trumpet player, Matt Strom.
“It was very mind blowing. It went by very quickly and I’m sad that it went so quickly but I made sure to really cherish the time we had, be with the friends, and work with these kinds of people,” said Chase Westenfelder, NCHS senior saxophone soloist.
Fifteen-year band director, DJ Alstadt, couldn’t be more pleased with his students for their work on and off the stage.
“I hope the city of Naperville is proud of the Naperville Central wind ensemble because we definitely went there with the thought of representing our community,” said Alstadt.
Carnegie Hall wasn’t the only stop for some students, 19 members of the jazz ensemble got to play at The Jazz Standard.
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