Tech High Student To Represent St. Cloud In National Youth Orchestra [VIDEO]
ST. CLOUD -- One St. Cloud Tech High School student will be trading in his beach towel for a viola and a chance to perform internationally this summer.
17-year-old Arjun Ganguly is one of three students from Minnesota selected to be in the first ever National Youth Orchestra. Carnagie Hall is calling them, "the finest in the country."
Ganguly has been playing the viola since he was in fifth grade. The now junior will be among 120 other students ages 16 through 19 performing in New York, Washington D.C., Moscow, St. Petersburg and London.
Ganguly was encouraged by Tech orchestra teacher, Kara Mather and St. John's University professor, David Arnott to audition for the ensemble.
Ganguly says the audition process was quite extensive. He submitted excerpts of himself performing music of his choice as well as clips of him performing songs listed on the application. He also submitted an essay along with two letters of recommendation.
Ganguly's mother, Nabaneeta "Mini" Giangopadhyay says she and her husband Partha thought Arjun was applying for a summer camp, "we had no idea how big this was. We thought it was a summer camp...I think he knew more about how big this was than any of us did."
Arjun was inspired to join orchestra after his older brother Ankan Ganguly started playing the violin in fifth grade.
Ankan says, "It was a little bit disconcerting when he overtook me, but it's been a great experience and now it's just amazing."
Arjun says he's been practicing about two or three hours each day to prepare for the international tour. His brother helps him by giving him feedback and making suggestions.
The group will be performing at Purchase College, State University of New York on June 30th. They will be led by world renowned conductor, Valery Gergier and well-known violinist, Joshua Bell.
You can hear the National Youth Orchestra live on BBC Radio Three July 21st which will air on television July 26th.
Arjun will be joined by two other Minnesotans, Nora Doyle from Minneapolis and Jennifer Kim from Rochester.
The group will be on tour through July 23rd.
See a video with Arjun Ganguly and his family below.