And that’s no small feat. The RPYO is comprised of more than one hundred of the most accomplished middle-and high-school musicians from over thirty schools in the greater Rochester area.
Each year the RYPO presents three full programs of major symphonic works, including a Side-by-Side Concert in Eastman Theatre with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and performs in special outreach concerts, enjoys exchanges with other youth orchestras and undertakes a major tour every three years. During the autumn months, members of the RPYO also meet as a Chamber Orchestra to explore the repertory for smaller orchestra.
Musicians like Williams are admitted to the RYPO through highly competitive annual auditions each spring. They rehearse throughout the school year and perform under the musical direction of Dr. David Harman and with coaching by members of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.
Participation in the RPYO provides an excellent musical foundation for future professional or amateur careers in music, as testified by the large number of RPYO alumni playing in professional and semi-professional symphony orchestras and chamber groups throughout the country.
Williams says she “loves being in the RYPO.’’
“To be accepted, I had to go to Rochester and audition in front of the conductor and two members of the horn section of the RPO,’’ Williams said. “Being in the RYPO is such a great experience. It’s great to play with a lot of really good people and make music at a more advanced level.” Williams, who has been taking private French horn lessons since she was in fourth grade and piano lessons since second grade has participated in All-county band and chorus since she was in fifth grade. She has participated in area All-States on French horn since she was in seventh grade. She participates in solo festivals twice each year for French horn and voice. She was accepted into Conference All State 2010 wind Ensemble on French horn and was accepted as an alternate for All-Eastern 2011(the northeastern region of the U.S.) for French horn.
At NHS, Williams is also a member of Vocal Jazz, Jazz Band, Wind Ensemble and Concert Choir.
She also plays Varsity Girls Soccer and is a member of the Varsity Girls Track team.
Kelsey is an outstanding musician and student,’’ said Dave Schwind, her instrumental music teacher at NHS who is also the district music supervisor. “I’m extremely proud of her accomplishments and the level of musicality that she brings to the Newark music program.”
As to her future?
“ As much as I love to sing and play piano, French Horn is my true passion and I hope to make it my career,’’ Williams said. “Nothing sounds better to me than playing my horn in an orchestra and getting paid to do it! I hope to major in horn performance, with a possibility of double majoring with music education, as well, at my dream school _ Eastman School of Music.”