This past August, three Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk student-musicians traveled to Mako and Budapest, Hungary with the Empire State Youth Orchestra (ESYO) Wind Orchestra to participate and perform in the 2018 convention of the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles. Twelfth-graders Kaylee Eacho (flute), Simon Lindmark (trumpet) and Logan Wilson (percussion) joined 45 other students from the Capital Region to perform with and listen to some of the world’s finest wind ensembles.
“I was surrounded by hundreds of people that shared the same passion for music as I did,” Eacho said. “I would give anything to go back and experience it all again.”
The musicians performed advanced musical pieces during the convention performance, gave an outdoor “Pops” concert and marched in the First King of Hungary celebration alongside the other participating musical groups.
“It was a once in a lifetime experience,” Wilson said. “Meeting so many new friends through the ESYO Wind Orchestra that have a passion for music made the experience better and gave me friendships that will last much longer than the trip.”
The cross-cultural exchange allowed the three RCS musicians to collaborate with student-musicians from Europe, China, Russia, and Romania.
“Not only did I enjoy the culture, but playing with many different countries from around the world was so much fun and a huge honor,” Lindmark said.
Eacho, Lindmark and Wilson each auditioned for the opportunity to perform abroad with the highly-selective ESYO program. Once accepted, the trio spent several nights during the 2017-18 school year and over the summer vacation rehearsing with the ensemble in preparation for their Hungary tour.
“They are exemplary student-musicians and we are so proud of them for representing RCS music abroad,” RCS High School band director John Fatuzzo said. “They have worked tirelessly to prepare their audition materials and concert music, demonstrating admirable dedication to their passion.”
Student-musicians have many outlets at RCS, from classroom curriculum to active participation in award-winning instrumental and choral ensembles. The RCS music department was recently recognized as a “Best Community for Music Education” by the National Association for Music Merchants (NAMM) this past spring.