Band and orchestra students look forward to New York tour


Sophomore Lorenzo Maino performs alongside members of Palo Alto High School’s band during the May Fete parade in 2022. Both the band and the orchestra students will be leaving on a trip from April 20 to April 23 to visit New York City. According to freshman Amily Zhang, she is one of many students in the ensemble who is looking forward to the event. “I’m really excited for the New York trip,” Zhang said. “I am most looking forward to the Broadway shows in Radio City.” (Photo: Daniel Garepis-Holland)

Kasmira Lada and Kristine Lin

Crisp notes of music and harmonic tunes can be heard from Palo Alto High School’s band room as the members of the Instrumental Music Program rehearse for their trip on Thursday to New York City.

According to the band and orchestra directors Greg Miller and Jeff Willner, the students will be on tour from April 20 to April 23, and will perform at the Riverside Church in New York City. Miller said the performance will feature a variety of musical compositions at the Riverside Church, including “Danzon” by Leonard Bernstein,

“Haven” by Adrian B. Sims and “Lanande” by Yukiko Nishimura. According to Miller, the students feel prepared to perform after hours of rehearsal over the past weeks.

“The music is in great shape and we’re greatly looking forward to showcasing the hard work of our students,” Miller said.

According to freshman Amily Zhang, the ensemble performed the musical selections at previous concerts, so it was not difficult to polish up the songs.

“We’ve been playing some pieces from the start of the year, so we’ve practiced a decent amount and we’re pretty in-tune with each other,” Zhang said.

According to Miller, in addition to performing, the students will also have the opportunity to explore the city.

We have multiple tours scheduled, including tours of Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, Radio City Music Hall, Central Park and the 9/11 Memorial,” Miller said. “I hope that the tours of historic locations will broaden the book knowledge our students learn about in their history classes.”

Willner said this event will be the first out-of-state tour since the pandemic.

“This is our first trip since 2020, so this is a big deal that we’re doing this now,” Willner said. “Every other year we do a trip, and I think of other places that would be as musically and culturally interesting for a bunch of [students]. I just can’t think of anything better than New York.”

According to Zhang, she is looking forward to visiting and performing in the city with her ensemble.

“I think it’s a great way for us to show off our skills and have fun at the same time,” Zhang said.

Sophomore Maya Dakua had a similar take: she said she is eagerly anticipating the opportunity and liberty to spend more time with her classmates.

“There [are] not many rules and we [will] have a lot of time to just roam around New York on our own with friends,” Dakua said.

Miller said he wants students to come back from this experience with a newfound sense of knowledge and connection with their peers.

“I hope that students will go on this trip and gain great community connections with each other while representing Paly and the Palo Alto community in the highest light,” Miller said.