Three University of North Carolina School of the Arts double bass students have been recognized by Carnegie Hall as being among the nation’s best. This summer they’ll join that organization’s prestigious National Youth Orchestra of the United States.

After a highly competitive audition process, three high school students made the cut: Michael Stratford from Mooresville, Durham’s Simon Vázquez-Carr, and Gavin Hardy from Winston-Salem. In July they and 100 of their peers from across the country will travel to New York for two weeks of intensive training with leading orchestral musicians. That’ll be followed by a Carnegie Hall performance under celebrated American conductor Marin Alsop, and a South American concert tour.

Senior Gavin Hardy says winning the NYO audition involved three months of intensive preparation. And he credits input from his teacher, UNCSA’s Paul Sharpe — recently named winner of the UNC Board of Governors Excellence in Teaching Award.

"Personally, I hadn’t played a lot of the excerpts and the pieces that I’m playing for the audition," says Hardy. "So, he’s able to give me a lot of insight into those pieces. We’re able to talk about different bow strokes and what works now compared to what worked 10, 20 years ago. Having that insight has been very beneficial to play for him and get that feedback."

Hardy says next up is deciding which college to attend. He’s already been accepted at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. And later this spring he’ll perform on NPR’s From the Top program.

300x250 Ad

300x250 Ad

Support quality journalism, like the story above, with your gift right now.