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SAS Students Play with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra

March, 2008
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sally The students in the high school orchestras, SAS Puxi campus, were recently privileged to participate in a once-in-a-lifetime experience when they were involved in the New York Philharmonic’s Symphony Open Day Overtures Concert. The open rehearsal and concert were presented before a sellout crowd at the Shanghai Grand Theatre on February 21.

  SAS students were joined on stage for the rehearsal and concert by 20 members of the NYPO, 20 Shanghai Music Conservatory students, and students from the Datong and Tianshan Chinese schools. The two Chinese schools were chosen because of their top rankings in a contest in November. The required pieces that they had prepared for that contest became the selections for the Overtures Concert. The 78 members of SAS orchestras received the music for these difficult pieces on January 14 and worked very hard to prepare the music under the direction of the high school orchestra director, Mr. Ralph Greenblatt.

  The conductor for the event was Lorin Maazel, who is the conductor of the New York Philharmonic and one of the top three conductors in the world.

  This is the first time that Maazel has worked in an Outreach Program with players of this age. Usually he works with university-level students. Impressively he remarked, “These young people, a few of them pre-fessionals, were so well prepared, so focused, so earnest. I shall always carry with me the image of these delightful youngsters.”

  On February 20, the New York Philharmonic sent two of their players, Evangeline Benedetti and Sarah O’Boyle, to the SAS campus for a two-hour rehearsal with the students. The visiting NYPO players were very impressed with how well the students played and their enthusiasm during the time.

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