High school trombonist is chosen for National Youth Orchestra jazz residency

A rising high school senior in the School of Music at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) has been selected for Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra (NYO) jazz program for the summer. Trombonist Darien Baldwin of Atlanta is one of 200 high school musicians from across the country chosen for the highly selective program.

“It is both an outstanding achievement and a tremendous opportunity for Darien to participate in a National Youth Orchestra residency,” said Saxton Rose, interim dean of the School of Music. “It is particularly noteworthy for a trombonist to have attained this level of excellence at such a young age. Studying the trombone is a uniquely challenging pursuit and it is uncommon for children to begin playing the trombone at an early age. Because of this, there are very few young trombonists who attain this level of proficiency. We’re very proud of Darien.”

Darien Baldwin will attend the National Youth Orchestra jazz residency

Darien Baldwin

The jazz program, called NYO Jazz, is one of three national youth ensembles chosen through a comprehensive audition process. “The musicians selected to be a part of Carnegie Hall’s three national youth ensembles are among the very best players in the nation,” said Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall’s executive and artistic director. “After a challenging year in which most young musicians haven’t been able to play together, we are very happy to be able to convene these groups again in person for an unforgettable summer of music-making. This will be an opportunity for these wonderful young players to connect with their peers, explore music together, and train with some of the top professional musicians in the country.”

Baldwin, who studies with faculty-artist John Ilika, will attend the monthlong, in-person residency held with strict health protocols at Purchase College, State University of New York, in July.

A faculty of outstanding professional musicians will coach the students in full rehearsals, sectionals and master classes. The residency will also provide an opportunity for the young musicians to collaborate with each other in smaller chamber ensembles and jazz combos, and to participate in other workshops on essential music skills. The national youth ensembles will play new works written specifically for them and will create digital performances. Details will be announced.

Baldwin also performs with Georgia Music Educators Association’s All-State Jazz Ensemble.

He is among several UNCSA School of Music students who have been accepted to NYO programs in recent years. In 2019, Tyson Davis was apprentice composer with NYO, and double bassist Isaac Present and violinist Ruth Kelley were selected performers. In 2016, sisters Emilia and Ella Sharpe were selected as violinist and double-bassist, respectively. 

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May 26, 2021