Fifteen-year-old Cheshire High School student Tyler Tan has already accomplished something that most musicians can only dream of.
At such a young age, he’s already played in Carnegie Hall, one of the most prestigious music institutions in the country. And he’s played there not once, but twice.
“It was a really crazy experience, definitely something that I will never forget,” recalled Tan. “I was in Carnegie’s younger program, called NYO2, for two years and I was able to meet a bunch of amazing professionals. We also performed down in Miami, where we met with other aspiring musicians from all over the world. It changed my life.”
Carnegie Hall, the prestigious New York concert venue, hosted some of the world’s most famous musicians over the decades, from jazz artists such as Duke Ellington, Judy Garland, and Benny Goodman, to Bob Dylan and Paul Simon. The Hall holds auditions for their youth orchestras—National Youth Orchestra of America (NYO-USA) and orchestra NYO2—in the fall of each year. The students in the NYO-USA orchestra are between the ages of 16 and 19, while the NYO2 students are aged between 14 and 17.
Tan has been lucky enough to be chosen for the NYO2 orchestra twice, but this year he decided to audition for NYO-USA to get better experience.
“The NYO orchestra is way more important to me because you get to go all over the world and meet and learn from all different professionals,” Tan explained. “It's a much more mature experience.”
The NYO-USA orchestra attends a two week residency at Purchase College, in New York, and then they set out on a national or international tour during the summer. This year, the 2020 NYO-USA orchestra is expected to travel across the country under the direction of Carlos Miguel Prieto with a program that will include Igor Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring”.
“I am really excited to get started,” said Tan. “I have been playing the violin since I was five years old, when I saw my older sister do it.”
While Tan played in the school orchestra for a while, he soon began private lessons. He now practices with his teacher Dr. I-Hao Lee from Julliard School of Music in New York City. Tan is a dedicated musician, and hopes to continue exploring his craft and potentially pursuing it as a profession.
“I was also accepted into Julliard’s Pre-College music program, where every Saturday I go into the city and attend music theory classes, train with professionals, and learn about the industry as a whole,” Tan added. “It’s really opened my eyes to the industry and what I can do.”