Meet the Teens of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra

The Metropolitan Youth Orchestra celebrates its 20th anniversary with a concert by musicians not quite that old.

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If you think playing Rachmaninoff is hard, try adolescence. Two decades ago, the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra formed to keep teens out of trouble. Since then, 1,200 students have participated. As the MYO prepares for its April 10 anniversary concert at Hilbert Circle Theatre, we talked with four of them about the high notes of their careers. 


Zoe Gowens-Evans

ZoeGowens-EvansAGE 17
SCHOOL Shortridge High School
INSTRUMENT Cello
Hardest piece she has ever played “I don’t remember the name, but it was a bass solo we were accompanying. It had shifts I hadn’t done yet, so I was scared.”
Favorite composition God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. “It’s simple and sweet.”
How she explains classical music to her friends “I don’t, really. My friends are pretty cultured.”


Alex McGrath

AlexMcGrathAGE 15
SCHOOL North Central High School
INSTRUMENT Violin
Hardest piece he has ever played Sibelius’s Violin Concerto. “In fact, I’m still working on it. It’s so long and tricky to put that thing together.”
Favorite composition The exact same piece.
How he explains classical music to his friends “It’s like rock from the 1500s, 1600s, and 1700s.”


Guen Welch

GuenWelchAGE 17
SCHOOL Herron High School
INSTRUMENT Viola
Hardest piece she has ever played Copland’s Hoedown, “Because of the speed.”
Favorite composition Adra’s Dance by Brendan McBrien. “It wasn’t that challenging. But it was beautiful, and nobody had to get really frustrated learning it.”
How she explains classical music to her friends “Music that has a lot of string instruments.”
If she weren’t playing viola, she’d play “I’m also in choir, so probably voice.”


Anthony Stokes

AnthonyStokesAGE 15
SCHOOL North Central High School
INSTRUMENT Cello
Hardest piece he has ever played Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. “The second movement is in A-flat minor, and a lot of things the cellos have to do are just difficult.”
Favorite composition  Dvorak’s Humoresque. “It’s real fast.”
How he explains classical music to his friends “Unlike most newer music, it’s actually soothing.” 

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