GRANBY — An East Newton High School senior is getting ready to represent the high school at the 2013 All-National Honor Orchestra sponsored by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME).
Lydia Neher will be one of 150 students from 46 states in the orchestra on Oct. 30, in Nashville, Tenn.
The Daily News caught up with Neher to ask her about the upcoming orchestra.
NDN: How proud are you to go to this orchestra?
Neher: I am honored to represent East Newton High School in this event. I will leave with my parents on Oct. 26 and will return on Oct. 31.
NDN: What instrument do you play and how did you get involved with learning the instrument?
Neher: I play the Bb clarinet, and it sounds cliché, but when I first played the clarinet, in that very moment, I knew it was what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. My mother gave me my first clarinet and my first lesson. She taught me everything she knows.
NDN: Talk about the orchestra, and will you perform a few shows?
Neher: We will be rehearsing for the first few days there in Nashville, and then performing on Oct. 30, there in Opryland. Some people don't understand how much work is compacted into those few days, but we work constantly. I counted how many hours of rehearsal time we have and at most it is eleven hours. I'm sure I will be surviving on little sleep and a lot of coffee, but it is what I love to do. How blessed that I am!
NDN: How many hours to you practice with the musical instrument and how hard is it to play the instrument?
Neher: On a typical school night, I practice at least two hours. When marching season is over, I will have more time to practice. On the weekends, it is great. I can practice as much as I like without having to stop, due to time. I can practice all day if I like. When something makes so much sense and just clicks like the clarinet does for me, it is not difficult at all. I love playing, and God has blessed me so greatly. It's hard to explain to all the city kids I meet at these events that I live on a farm and go to a public/rural school with less than 150 students in my graduating class. It shocks them. It is amazing how a person can be from anywhere and still make beautiful music.
NDN: What do you plan on doing after graduation from East Newton High School?
Neher: People always ask what I will do after graduation, and where I will go to school for my undergraduate degree. I will definitely go into music, but I don't know where yet. I will go wherever God leads me and opens up a door.
Page 2 of 2 - More information on All-National Honors Ensembles
The NAfME All-National Honors Ensembles, consisting of a concert band, symphony orchestra, mixed chorus, and jazz ensemble, are organized by members of the National Association for Music Education. The concert band and symphony orchestra will each have approximately 150 instrumentalists, the jazz ensemble will have 20 instrumentalists, and the mixed chorus will have approximately 350 vocalists. Eligible students have qualified for their state-level honor ensemble program and competed against top students for a spot in these national honor ensembles.