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SCV youth perform at Carnegie Hall 

Members of the Santa Clarita Youth Orchestra's Novae Sinfonia at Carnegie Hall. Courtesy of Madeline Gaines.
Members of the Santa Clarita Youth Orchestra's Novae Sinfonia at Carnegie Hall. Courtesy of Madeline Gaines.
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Some singers go to Hollywood, while an ensemble from the Santa Clarita Valley Youth Orchestra recently went to New York to perform at Carnegie Hall. 

The set list included “Abacus,” “How to Train Your Dragon,” “Seasons of Santa Clarita,” “Danzon No. 2” and “Symphony No. 9 ‘From the New World.’” 

SCVYO has 70 students enrolled, according to its Executive Director Xaman Kryger. According to its website, the program has “been providing young musicians with exemplary musical education and performance opportunities through expert instruction … for almost 40 years.” 

“I have been in the organization since I was a member in 2007, but I took on the [executive director] position for four years now since the pandemic,” Kryger said. “We’ve been planning this trip for about a year and a half and we took our most advanced ensemble. SCVYO is made up of three different groups.” 

The highest ensemble, Novae Sinfonia, performed at Carnegie Hall, but the other two ensembles, Prelude Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra, still had the chance to perform at another big venue in November: Disneyland.  

“We took our advanced ensemble, which had a total of 29 kids, to New York. Our total group that we took was about 50, including parents and siblings,” Kryger said. “It was a really amazing trip. We got to go see the New York Phil perform, a Broadway show, and then of course, explore the city with the students and do our excursions. A lot of them had some bonding moments and memories that they’ll have for a really long time.” 

Members of the Santa Clarita Youth Orchestra's Novae Sinfonia at Carnegie Hall. Courtesy of Madeline Gaines.
Members of the Santa Clarita Youth Orchestra’s Novae Sinfonia at Carnegie Hall. Courtesy of Madeline Gaines.

West Ranch junior Madeline Gaines, 16, is among the new generation of musicians who has joined with the purpose of performing with an ensemble.  

“I was looking for ensembles to be in outside of school, and SCVYO was exactly what I was looking for. I tried out for orchestra, that’s the middle ensemble, and I did that for a year and then got into Novae Sinfonia,” Gaines said. 

The ensemble meets once a week at the University Center at College of the Canyons, according to Gaines. While Gaines’ has played French horn for three years and it is her instrument of choice, she has also played the trumpet for eight years. 

“[SCVYO] talked about planning a trip to Carnegie Hall. WorldStrides organizes different ensembles throughout the country to perform at Carnegie Hall, and they approved of us playing there, so we planned the trip,” Gaines said. 

Not a stranger to performing in large spaces, Gaines remarked on the special occasion and the experience shared with her ensemble members. 

“It was really exciting. I’m used to big theaters, but the connotation of Carnegie Hall, ‘Wow.’ Going to perform there was such a buildup because the expectations are so high to be on that stage,” Gaines said. “When you’re with an ensemble, everyone locks in at the same time and we all become the same.” 

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