Whiz Kids: Riverhead High School Chamber Orchestra

Gifted musicians travel to New York City's Lincoln Center.

Riverhead's finest student musicians made a trip into the big city in late March to play at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, one of the country's most renowned performing arts venues, after they were invited to theNational Band and Orchestra Festival.  

The Riverhead Chamber Orchestra, a group of 21 gifted musicians from grades nine through 12, performed in the 2,700-seat Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center, home of the New York Philharmonic, on March 28.

"I was starstruck," said Emily Cardillo, a violinist with the chamber orchestra. "Every note rang. And rang."

Schools from as far as California participated in the festival, and Marisa Macchio - the orchestra's conductor - quickly jumped on the opportunity to pitch the event to parents when they were asked.

In addition to the opportunity to perform on the stage - and earn a chance to play in an evening concert, which unfortunately did not happen - the orchestra received written comments from one of the festival's clinicians and performed with him as well. Daniel Baldwin, director of orchestras at Luther College in Iowa, said the group had a, "very nice repertoire," "nice effects performance," a "well-worked tango," and "lots of potential."

Amanda Gallo, a violinist with the orchestra, said that the opportunity to perform in the chamber choir should be recognized as a reflection of the priority that the arts are given in Riverhead schools.

"So many kids participate in music, and this is another great program," Gallo said. "It's nice to know that the administration supports us."


Do you know a star student, a talented young tradesman, or an athlete - or team - who's on a hot streak? Then you know a , and we want to profile him/her. Send your nominations to:josephp@patch.com

Kristen Halpin April 20, 2011 at 02:24 PM
Just the fact that Riverhead still has a chamber orchestra is something that makes me so proud to be a part of this district. Amanda Gallo is absolutely right. This is just one of the many important programs that makes Riverhead schools great! What a fantastic job Ms. Macchio and Mr. Ohara did of making this trip a priority for our students. This is just one example of the many things that many teachers in Riverhead schools do that is over and above their normal set of responsibilities.
Leo Torre April 20, 2011 at 08:31 PM
This just shows everyone why they teach music in schools. Without music, art, chorus etc all culture would soon vanish.
April Pokorny April 21, 2011 at 07:28 AM
Music and the arts, including dance, theater, and architecture, as well as playing an instrument are valuable in and of themselves. Many studies show a correlation between students exposed to music lessons and improved scores on math and other standardized tests. Cutting the arts is no different than cutting social studies or math out of a child's learning experience.


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