Tuesday, September 02, 2014

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M-E junior plays Carnegie Hall

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: M-E junior plays Carnegie Hall
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Carnegie Hall is one of the most famous venues in the world and to play there is a dream shared by many musicians. As YNN’s Chris Whalen tells us, one local performer had the chance of a lifetime to make his dream come true.

ENDWELL, N.Y. -- He started playing music in third grade and in middle school when classmates took up the likes of clarinet and trumpet, he opted for a different instrument.

“I saw that our band really didn’t have anything like this, like nothing really unique in middle school, so I thought ‘why not ask if there’s any instruments that we have that nobody is playing?’” said Brendan Gardner.

So Gardner picked up the bassoon. Little did he know four years later, that choice would land him the opportunity of a lifetime.

“I was nominated by my music teacher, then I had to send in an application and a taped performance of just some contrasting pieces,” Gardner said.

His talents earned him a spot in the American High School Honors Performance band. Only 200 musicians from around the world are chosen. The site of their concert was one of the most famous stages in the world: Carnegie Hall.

“Walking in to the hall was amazing. It literally took your breath away as soon as you walked in to that Hall,” said Gardner.

But achieving that dream may be more difficult for students in the future as many school districts are making cuts to music programs.

At Maine-Endwell where Gardner is a student, the school board is considering decreasing music offerings for elementary and middle school students to help eliminate a nearly $4 million budget deficit.

“When I was introduced to music, I just instantly clicked and I’ve been with it every since and it worries me for people who are just like that who just don’t have other places to connect and if all the music goes away, what are they supposed to do now?” Gardner said.

Right now, chorus and band will not be affected at the high school level and for aspiring musicians like Gardner, that’s music to their ears.

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