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What about ISO? How did that get started, and how has it grown?
The InterSchool Orchestras of New York was founded in 1972 by Annabelle Prager as a small chamber group in her living room. Six orchestras, a symphonic band and numerous chamber ensembles and outreach programs later, we have over 400 students involved.
The band started as an Eagle project for me 19 years ago. At that time there was no community band for young people, so I started one with friends from school when I was 19. Seventeen years later, we are one of the most important symphonic bands in the area. I am very proud of what these students accomplish each week and of some of the educators that have come out of our ranks. Former members have gone into military service, others have gained jobs with major companies and firms, and one is even a member of the Canadian Brass.
What do you hope to accomplish through the symphonic band?
Some of our students reinforce the skills they learn in their stellar programs throughout the city; for others, the band provides them with some of the most advanced music they get, since they may not have a band in their school.
I think the Green-Wood concerts have affirmed something I have always believed—that young people can change the world through the humanities. Through the simple act of playing an instrument, they can change the world for the better.
For more info on the Memorial Day concert, click here.