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Berkley High School Orchestra To Perform At Carnegie Hall

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Conductor John Robertson leads the Berkley High School Orchestra. (WWJ/Jon Hewett)

Conductor John Robertson leads the Berkley High School Orchestra. (WWJ/Jon Hewett)

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 BERKLEY (WWJ) – Berkley High School’s nationally recognized student orchestra is taking its act on the road, with a performance at Carnegie Hall in New York City.BerkleyOrch2(JH)

Conductor John Robertson told WWJ’s Jon Hewett that the biggest challenge for the 93 kids taking part – will be to keep their cool and not get too wrapped-up in the moment:

“Carnegie Hall is such an exciting place to be,” said Robertson, “such a dream for most musicians, probably all musicians to be honest, to hold back the adrenalin, the excitement of it all, and to really focus and listen to the acoustics and make sure we are playing the best performance that we can …”

Senior cellist Matthew Raisky downplayed the enormity of the event with humor:

“How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” he asks? “Practice, practice, practice – that couldn’t be true enough.”

Berkley seniors Lisa Strand and Austin Glass are both violinists with the orchestra and describe their journey as the trip of a life time:

“We’ve been passed Carnegie Hall … now to actually get to play there is just incredible,” she said. “For us, a high school orchestra, to make it there, it’s once in a lifetime and we keep repeating that, but it totally is.”

“It was definitely, for us, the pinnacle of our musical success,” said Glass.

The students have a full schedule of theatre and sightseeing the wrapped around the Monday performance at the iconic music hall.

In addition to winning several national competitions, the Berkley Orchestra also had the honor of performing in Washington D.C. last year — as part of President Barrack Obama’s second inauguration celebration.

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