City Cellist Accepted Into Elite Youth Orchestra


Photo courtesy of Adam Zeithamel

Esther Puderbaugh, A&E and Opinion Co-Editor

City High Orchestra member Adam Zeithamel ‘23 was eating breakfast with other orchestra members when he refreshed his phone to find out he had been accepted to the prestigious National Youth Orchestra USA. 

“It was definitely kind of a long shot,” Zeithamel said. “I was in disbelief because I honestly didn’t expect to get in.”

NYO-USA is a month-long summer program sponsored by Carnegie Hall made up of some of the most elite youth musicians in the country. Once accepted into the program, these students spend a couple of weeks working with some of the top clinicians in the country before embarking on a coast-to-coast tour of the United States.

“I wanted to apply because they always bring in amazing guest clinicians [and] conductors; and the guest artists this year are Gil Shaham and Hillary Hahn,” Zeithamel said. “The other thing about it is it’s all expenses paid so I have to pay to get myself to New York and to get myself home. But, besides that, the tour and everything else is all covered. It just looked like an amazing program and there wasn’t a reason not to [apply].”

This summer, the orchestra will play Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, the Barber Violin Concerto with soloist Gil Shaham, Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with soloist Hilary Hahn, and a brand-new commissioned piece by Valerie Coleman for this year’s NYO-USA ensemble.

“I’m just really excited to get to play the music we’re playing because this is gonna be [at] a very high level, it’s gonna be extremely good,” Zeithamel said. “That was my favorite thing about last summer at Interlochen (Arts Camp): everyone was so good and the results sounded so nice. So, I’m looking forward to doing that again with a lot of extremely talented musicians and some of the craziest soloists around right now. I think it’s gonna be a really fantastic experience and really, really fun.”