A profile of the InterSchool Orchestras of New York, which provides opportunities for underserved students to receive a complete musical education, from beginning level to pre-professional experience.

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> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO 'NYC ARTS.'

FROM THE WNET STUDIOS AT LINCOLN CENTER WE'LL INTRODUCE YOU TO THE ORCHESTRAS OF NEW YORK.

♪♪ IT IS THE ONLY ORCHESTRAL EXPERIENCE IN THE AREA FOR ELEMENTARY, MIDDLE, AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TO PERFORM IN AN ENSEMBLE OF THEIR PEERS AND ALSO PROGRESS THROUGH A GRADED SYSTEM.

OVER THE COURSE OF AN ACADEMIC YEAR ISO STUDENTS ARE COACHED THROUGH AUDITIONS, PLACED AND MENTORED BY PROFESSIONAL MUSICIANS THROUGH REHEARSALS AND PERFORMANCES.

ISO BEGAN IN 1972 WHEN ANN BELL PRAGER, MOTHER OF A 10-YEAR-OLD SON LEARNING CLARINET, DISCOVERED LIMITED OPPORTUNITIES FOR HIM TO PLAY IN AN ORCHESTRA.

SO MS. PRAGUER TOOK MUSICAL MATTERS INTO HER OWN HANDS.

TODAY THE SCHOOLS OF NEW YORK SERVE MORE THAN 300 CHILDREN FROM 163 NEW YORK CITY SCHOOLS.

NO CHILD IS EVER TURNED AWAY BECAUSE OF FINANCIAL NEEDS.

'NYC ARTS' HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO FOLLOW THE INTERSCHOOL ORCHESTRAS THIS YEAR AS THESE YOUNG MUSICIANS DEVELOPED A LOVE OF MUSIC TO LAST A LIFETIME.

♪♪

WHEN I'M ON STAGE I USUALLY FEEL EMPOWERED BECAUSE NOT A LOT OF KIDS GET TO PLAY AND NOT A LOT OF KIDS GET TO DO MUSIC, AND I FEEL REALLY BLESSED TO BE A PART OF SUCH A GREAT GROUP.

A LOT OF MY LIFE IS PRETTY BUSY, BUT THEN WHEN I GET TO PLAY THE CELLO, IT FEELS LIKE A QUIET MUSICAL RETREAT.

WHEN I'M PLAYING I FEEL LIKE WE'RE A STRING FAMILY.

I REALLY LIKE IT BECAUSE I SEE MY FRIENDS AND THE SONGS WE PLAY MAKE ME FEEL HAPPY.

♪♪ ♪♪

ISO IS UNIQUE IN NEW YORK CITY.

WE HAVE SIX ORCHESTRAS AND TWO BANDS.

IF YOU STICK WITH US FROM 6 YEARS OLD ALL THE WAY THROUGH YOUR HIGH SCHOOL YOU'RE GOING TO GET ABSOLUTE THE BEST ORCHESTRAL TRAINING BY GOING THROUGH DIFFERENT ORCHESTRAS AT DIFFERENT PLACES.

THE ORCHESTRA CULTURE IS ONE OF THE THINGS THAT'S JUST A MIX AS A COMMUNITY.

YOU MEET ONCE A WEEK AND AT ISO THE UNIQUE THING IS STARTING FROM AGE 5 TO 17 OR 18, SO THE IDEA IS TO ACTUALLY GROW UP TOGETHER IN THIS CULTURE IN AN ORCHESTRA.

IT'S LIKE A FAMILY.

WE HAVE SUCH A UNIQUE PRESENCE THAT WE CAN OFFER A TIERED EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE THAT'S NOT CONNECTED TO ANY SINGLE ENTITY.

WE PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS FROM PRIVATE SCHOOLS, FROM PUBLIC SCHOOLS, SO WE ARE UNIQUE ENTITY THAT CAN BRING LIKE-MINDED STUDENTS TOGETHER TO CREATE MUSIC.

FOR ISO THEY START AT A PLACE WHERE THEY CAN PLAY QUARTER NOTES AND READ MUSIC.

♪♪

I'M WORKING ON KEEPING MY BOW STRAIGHT IN THE MIDDLE SOMETIMES WHEN I'M PLAYING IT GOES ALL THE WAY OFF, AND I GET FRUSTRATED WITH MYSELF SOMETIMES.

BUT I KEEP TRYING.

♪♪

IT'S A REALLY TALENTED GROUP OF PEOPLE THAT ARE AROUND ME.

I WOULDN'T SAY ANYTHING TO THAT NATURE ABOUT MYSELF LIKE NOT TO BE PRECOCIOUS OR ANYTHING.

WE HAVE A GREAT CONDUCTOR.

HE'S REALLY FUNNY.

HE'S JUST GREAT.

THEY'RE MIDDLE SCHOOL AGED, HIGH SCHOOL AGED.

A LOT OF THEM ARE COMING INTO THEIR OWN ON THE INSTRUMENTS TECHNICALLY.

THEY HAVEN'T HAD A LOT OF EXPERIENCE PLAYING IN ORCHESTRAS.

THEY'RE ALL INDIVIDUALS.

THEY DO HAVE DIFFERENT NEEDS AND DIFFERENT HUNGERS FOR EXPRESSION.

I HOPE THEY CAN BRING THAT OUT.

♪♪ FOR EXAMPLE, A MIDDLE SCHOOL KID WILL THINK AN ACCENT WILL GO BOOM ON A VIOLIN AND THEY THINK THEY MADE A LOUD NOISE.

IT'S ACTUALLY QUITE SWEET.

IF IT HAS TO BE A LITTLE INTENSE, I HAVE TO WORK THEM ALMOST UNTIL IT'S TOO UGLY AND THEN PULL BACK A LITTLE.

SO IT'S KIND OF FUN TO WORK WITH THAT AGED KID.

FOR ME IT'S ALWAYS FUN TO COME BACK AND WORK WITH THIS ORCHESTRA AND KIND OF SEE THE NUANCES AND THE KIDS MIGHT BE LEARNING AS THEY'RE GOING THROUGH THE WAY THEY TAKE TIME, THE WAY THEY WAIT AND LISTEN TO EACH OTHER.

THEIR INTERNAL RHYTHMIC SENSE.

YOU DEFINITELY CAN FEEL IT WHEN YOU WORK WITH THEM.

SOMETHING GOOD IS HAPPENING HERE CLEARLY.

IT'S A LOT OF FUN TO DO THAT.

♪♪

AS A CONDUCTOR I CHOOSE NOT TO SAY WHAT I WANT BUT DO IT WITH MY HANDS AND MY GESTURE AND HOPEFULLY THEY'LL FOLLOW.

THE GROUP I CONDUCT ORCHESTRA IS THE SECOND GROUP FROM THE TOP OF THE PYRAMID, IF YOU WILL.

STUDENTS ARE AGED EARLY HIGH SCHOOL, MAYBE LATE MIDDLE SCHOOL.

ONE OF THE THINGS I TRY TO SHARE WITH THEM THE GOAL OF REHEARSAL IS TO COME WITH YOUR PART MASTERED SO YOU CAN LEARN EVERYONE ELSE'S PART AND THERE CAN BE TRUE COLLABORATION.

♪♪

IN A DAY AND AN AGE THEY ARE SO DISTRACTED BY TECHNOLOGY, THEIR ATTENTION SPAN GETS SHORTER, EVERYTHING IS INSTANT GRATIFICATION.

YOU CAN PUSH A BUTTON AND FIND SOMETHING ON THE INTERNET, YOU LOSE THE NOTION OF PURPOSE.

AND MUSIC GIVES THEM PURPOSE.

TONIGHT WE'RE PLAYING NUMBER 5 AND DOING THE FOURTH MOVEMENT.

HE'S SUCH AN AMAZING COMPOSER.

I FEEL EVERYBODY COULD AGREE ON THAT.

LOOKING AT IT FROM A TECHNICAL PERSPECTIVE, IT CAN BE ABOVE THE LEVEL OF SOME STUDENTS.

SO ONE OF THE CHALLENGES OF THEM BEING ABLE TO PLAY THE NOTES ON THE PAGE.

I'VE DEFINITELY SEEN PROGRESS.

I'M TRYING TO WORK ON MY MID AND LOWER RANGE.

I WANT A BETTER SOUND WITH IT.

THAT'S WHAT I'M WORKING ON RIGHT NOW.

♪♪

ONE OF MY FRIENDS TOLD ME ABOUT IT, THE HUGE BRASS OPENING AND THE FINALE.

IT'S ONE OF THOSE PIECES I ALWAYS WANTED TO PLAY.

IT WAS ON MY BUCKET LIST.

IT'S DEFINITELY PERSONAL.

THERE'S SO MUCH BREATH CONTROL INVOLVED.

SOMETIMES YOU CAN FEEL YOUR AIR MOVING INSIDE YOUR BODY AND YOU CAN FEEL WHEN IT'S NOT RIGHT.

YOU LEARN THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF NOT JUST THE INSTRUMENT BUT WHAT YOU CAN DO AND YOU MAKE IT A GOAL TO GET BETTER AND BETTER EVERY DAY.

WHEN YOU PLAY THE TUBA, YOU CAN'T HIDE.

THE MINUTE YOU PLAY THE NOTE EVERYBODY HEARS.

YOU'RE EITHER RIGHT OR WRONG AND YOU'RE DEFINITELY IMPORTANT.

YOU'RE PLAYING TOGETHER AS A GROUP BUT YOUR PART MATTERS.

YOU WILL LOOK OUT THAT WAY.

ONE AT THE BROOKLYN MUSEUM FOR THE YOUNGER KIDS AND THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM FOR THE OLDER KIDS.

IT'S A BEAUTIFUL PLACE.

IT WILL BE AN EMOTIONAL NIGHT.

MY LAST BIG ISO SYMPHONY PERFORMANCE.

IT'S A FUN PIECE.

IT'S A PRIVILEGE TO PLAY AND A LOT OF TIMES THAT PRIVILEGE MAKES IT A LITTLE BIT LESS CHALLENGING BECAUSE WHEN YOU'RE WORKING TOWARDS IT, IT DOESN'T FEEL LIKE A TASK.

THIS PERFORMANCE IS IMPORTANT TO ME BECAUSE GETTING TO PLAY IN FRONT OF PEOPLE, GETTING THE FEEDBACK OF BEING IN A CONCERT ENVIRONMENT MAKES EVERYONE BETTER.

♪♪

IT'S KIND OF HARD.

A LOT OF FLAILING.

IT'S FUN, THOUGH.

IT WAS HARD TO FIGURE OUT.

IT'S GOOD TO PLAY LOUD.

♪♪ ♪♪

THEY ARE HAVING FUN, THAT'S FOR SURE.

THE BODY IS MOVING AND THAT'S THE WONDERFUL PART, PLAYING THE ORCHESTRA AND MUSIC TOGETHER.

THEY'RE BREATHING TOGETHER ON STAGE AS A GROUP.

THAT'S FASCINATING.

♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪

I LOVE WATCHING THE KIDS WHEN THEY COME IN A LITTLE UNSURE AND BY THE TIME THEY'RE COMPLETED AND MOVING ON THEY ARE MUCH MORE SECURE IN THE WAY THEY PLAY, THE WAY THEY CAN EXPRESS AND THAT'S A JOY FOR ME AT LEAST.

TO WATCH THAT GROWTH.

I'M GETTING CLOSER AND CLOSER TO GRADUATING.

IT FELT LIKE IT WAS NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN.

I'M HAPPY TO GET OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL AND A NEW LIFE IN COLLEGE.

I DON'T KNOW IF I MAKE ANYTHING RIGHT NOW IN MY PROFESSION.

I'M NOT QUITE AT THAT STAGE.

IT BEING PEACEFUL AND RELAXING.

I'VE BEEN THINKING MAYBE I COULD BE A SOLOIST ON MY VIOLIN OR BE IN THE ORCHESTRA FOR THE NEW YORK CITY BALLET AT THE 'NUT CRACKER.'