Student musicians join Yale Concert Band at Woolsey Hall

On  Friday, February 14, student musicians from the New Haven Public Schools joined the Yale Concert Band on stage in Woolsey Hall.  The concert was a collaborative endeavor between the New Haven Public Schools All-City Honors Band and Yale Concert Band.  Together the two ensembles, sat side-by side and played Leonard Bernstein’s “Mambo” from West Side Story, conducted by Rubén Rodríguez, Lead Teacher for the Yale School of Music, Music in Schools Initiative.  

The All-City Honors Ensembles include a strings-only orchestra, two levels of band and two levels of chorus.  They are a component of the Music in Schools Initiative, a partnership between the Yale School of Music and the New Haven Public Schools. Through this program 150 New Haven Public School musicians participate in intensive weekly Saturday rehearsals and musicianship lessons led by a combination of NHPS music teachers, Yale Teaching Artists, and special guests.  NHPS students who participate in the Honors Ensembles were selected through a rigorous audition process. The ensembles and provide the district’s best young musicians with high level ensemble experience.
Thomas C. Duffy, Director of Yale Bands, established the All-City Honors Band in 2011 and often guest-conducts the ensemble. When current director Rodríguez brought students and their families to attend a Yale Concert Band concert and reception in November 2013, Duffy openly invited them to play alongside his ensemble.  In order for students to participate, they had to demonstrate mastery of the “Mambo” selection.  28 All-City Honors students met the requirements and experienced playing with the Yale Band.