A friend of mine sent me a link to the video below and said to prepare to be impressed. It is a prize-winning performance of the Carmel (Indiana) High School Symphony Orchestra playing “Jupiter” from The Planets by Gustav Holst. As a result of this performance last May, they were named the Indiana State Orchestra Champion. My friend tells me they also won in 2008 playing the finale of Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony and “Mambo” from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein. These performances are also available on YouTube.
This performance is better than many concerts I have heard by prestigious university orchestras. It is better than a few I have heard by professional orchestras. I am used to hearing young musicians play at this level at the Eastern Music Festival. I would hope that the various all-state high school orchestras would routinely play this well. It blows my mind that a single high school could marshall the talent and discipline to play such difficult music so well.
Congratulations to Carmel High School, not only for the orchestra, but for the amount of support it has obviously gotten from the community and school administration. May it maintain its tradition of excellence for many years to come.