OHS students head to Carnegie Hall

A small group of Odessa High School students will be heading to New York City to participate in the Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall.
Zachary Brown, a senior bassoon player, and percussion players John Alex Cisneros, a sophomore, and Luke Kidd, a junior, will be in the Big Apple Feb. 7 through Feb. 11.
Assistant Band Director Jimmy Olague said WorldStrides Educational Student Travel arranges the trip.
“All the kids are put in groups of about 15, so they will meet the folks in their group which are usually in the same ensemble that they will be performing with. It’s an international event. What they do what they do is they arrive and then they have three rehearsals with a well-known conductor. Then they perform in concert that Sunday afternoon at Carnegie Hall. In the evenings, evenings they have they either visit the sights, or they go to a Broadway show, or they’ll go to (the) 9/11 (memorial); whatever New York’s got to offer. They’ll try to do the touristy stuff with these kids in the evening,” Olague said.
Musicians from OHS have been taking part in the honors series for about eight years.
“The talent has really gone up since then and the difficulty in making it has increased, as well,” Olague said.
“Students submit a recording of required etudes or listed solos that they’ve worked on in the past. They submit these back in late September/early October. They have either professors at universities or conductors in New York listen to these tapes and they pick by the quality of the performance (on) the tape,” Olague said.
An Honors Performance news release said they received more than 18,000 nominations this year and selected nearly 700 students.
The students going this year are “fantastic,” Olague said.
“They are talented folks. They are excited about it,” he said.
Brown is also part of the group of all-state musicians that is going to the Texas Music Educators Association convention about a week after the New York trip.
“That’s the quality of kid that this program is enticing,” Olague said.
Cisneros said he’s looking forward to going because last time he went, he got sick.
“I’m glad to get to go again,” Cisneros said.
He added that it was “pretty shocking” to find out he was selected and it hasn’t quite sunk in yet.
“Being a musician and wanting to travel the world, this is a really big opportunity. I couldn’t pass it down, so I’m very excited about it,” Kidd said.
“I’ve never traveled the world before. I’ve never left Texas before. I was really, really excited about it,” Kidd added. “There’s been a lot of sleepless nights where I can’t stop thinking about going. I was very excited when I even heard about it.”
Kidd said he’s looking forward to seeing The Julliard School and Carnegie Hall.
“That’s probably going to be the most exciting thing for me and then playing in Carnegie Hall. It’s just crazy. I’m probably going to cry, but that’s OK,” Kidd added.
He said he’s never seen Carnegie Hall and hasn’t looked at it online.
“I don’t want to look at anything until I get there. I’m just waiting. I have an idea of probably what it looks like, but I really want to wait just to really be surprised,” Kidd said.
Brown said in a previous interview that he’s going to Carnegie Hall for the second time.
“I think it’s exciting,” he said in a previous interview. “(There are) people from all over the world.”