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Talented Piano Quintet Selected for Inaugural Young Musicians New York City Regional Concert

The+Chamber+Music+Society+winners+for+2019+%28L-R%29%3A+Emily+Kitmahawong+%E2%80%9920%2C+Ruby+Hogue+%E2%80%9920%2C+Judge+Sanchez+%E2%80%9919%2C+Caroline+Odia+%E2%80%9920%2C+Blake+Frank+%E2%80%9920.+
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Talented Piano Quintet Selected for Inaugural Young Musicians New York City Regional Concert

The Chamber Music Society winners for 2019 (L-R): Emily Kitmahawong ’20, Ruby Hogue ’20, Judge Sanchez ’19, Caroline Odia ’20, Blake Frank ’20.

The Chamber Music Society winners for 2019 (L-R): Emily Kitmahawong ’20, Ruby Hogue ’20, Judge Sanchez ’19, Caroline Odia ’20, Blake Frank ’20.

Alexander Thorp

The Chamber Music Society winners for 2019 (L-R): Emily Kitmahawong ’20, Ruby Hogue ’20, Judge Sanchez ’19, Caroline Odia ’20, Blake Frank ’20.

Alexander Thorp

Alexander Thorp

The Chamber Music Society winners for 2019 (L-R): Emily Kitmahawong ’20, Ruby Hogue ’20, Judge Sanchez ’19, Caroline Odia ’20, Blake Frank ’20.

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While Bronx Science is often touted as an elite academic institution where students make great strides in the scientific world, its student population also contains a fair share of the musically talented. One particular quintet, consisting of Judge Sanchez ’19 (cello), Caroline Odia ’20 (violin), Blake Frank ’20 (piano), Emilee Kitmahawong ’20 (violin), and Ruby Hogue ’20 (viola), has been selected for the Inaugural Young Musicians New York City Regional Concert.

This is the first time that the regional concert has been offered in the thirty-six year history of the Young Musicians Program. The program offers high school instrumentalists the opportunity to perform in a concert professionally produced by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Groups who perform in the regional concert may be invited to perform in the annual Young Musicians concert hosted at Lincoln Center each spring as well.

“Knowing that our accomplishments have been recognized and rewarded is the best feeling on earth. As a musician, being able to play at Lincoln Center, and receiving free lessons at Julliard is a dream come true, and it wouldn’t have been able to happen if not for this competition,” Caroline Odia ’20 said.

The group began preparing for the competition last summer by choosing their piece, Johannes Brahms’ Piano Quintet in F minor, Op 34, Allegro non troppo, and learning their individual parts before coming together to practice after school and on weekends.

“Choosing a piece was a process because we wanted to choose something we would all have a big part in (many classical pieces make the parts unfair to some instruments), and we wanted something interesting to play because knew that we would be playing and rehearsing it for pretty much the whole year,” Odia, the second violinist of the group, said.

Together, the ensemble rehearsed twice a week, during SGI and during meetings of the Chamber Music Club, and each member practiced on their own every day.

“The most challenging part was organizing the group and setting days to rehearse. In order for us to enter the competition, we had to dedicate our time and shift around our schedules in order to actually be able to rehearse together,” said Kitmahawong, the first violinist of the group.

As upperclassmen, the group members needed to navigate their busy schedules filled with extracurriculars and homework to make time for practice. Four out of the five members of this year’s group won the Chamber Music Competition last year so they understood what it took to win again.

“We learned from what we did wrong last year and made sure to organize our time more efficiently to make sure that we produced the best sound,” Kitmahawong said.

The group spent hours recording their piece at a studio called NV Factory in New Jersey, getting home late at night, sacrificing their sleep, but still managing to get up for school the next day.

When the results arrived in early February 2019, the members were ecstatic.

“Knowing that our accomplishments have been recognized and rewarded is the best feeling on earth. As a musician, being able to play at Lincoln Center and receiving free lessons at Julliard is a dream come true, and it wouldn’t have been able to happen if not for this competition,” Odia said.

The ensemble performed at the Daniel and Joanna S. Rose Studio at Lincoln Center on Friday, February 15th, 2019.

“Seeing as this is my final year playing music at Bronx Science, it was nice to be able to go out on a high note,” said Sanchez.

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