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WAHS Sophomore Selected to Perform With National Youth Orchestra of the U.S.

District Wide

March 01, 2019 | Fine & Performing Arts

Michael Fisher with violin.

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (MARCH 1, 2019) — At just 15 years old, Williamsport Area High School sophomore Michael Fisher is already a veteran to the music scene.

For more than a decade, the teen violinist has risen to become a recognized musician. Now, this summer, he’ll unleash his talent across Europe alongside his peers as a member of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute’s National Youth Orchestra of the United States (NYO-USA).

From among a nation of talented high school musicians, Fisher is one of only about 100 to get selected into the prestigious youth orchestra.

“I feel extremely honored,” he said, adding that this is the highest musical honor a high school student can earn. “I am so very excited to be able to have the experience of being surrounded by the kids my age who love music the way I do.”

Each summer, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute brings together the brightest young players from across the country to form the NYO-USA, a free program for all participants.

This year, the orchestra will travel across Europe with conductor Sir Antonio Pappano, performing works by Strauss, Prokofiev, and Berlioz and joined by mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato in select cities. The tour kicks off with concerts at Tanglewood and Carnegie Hall, followed by stops in Great Britain, the Netherlands and Germany.

Starting at just 4 years old, Fisher, the son of Don and Kristin Fisher, began training with Pat Thayer before moving on to Penn State’s James Lyon and WAHS orchestra instructor Matthew Radspinner.

Under their guidance, Fisher has had the opportunity to perform at camps, for organizations, and in a number of Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) festivals. Most recently, he finished first at the PMEA district and regional orchestra, during which he also was named concertmaster.

“These three (instructors) ... are the ones who have trained me to get to where I am now, and for that I give them my everlasting gratitude.”

Fisher said it was Radspinner who presented him with the NYO-USA opportunity and helped him record his audition.

In addition to his involvement in the music program, Fisher also is a member of the high school’s Youth Development Task Force and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD). He’s also a member of the cross country and track teams.

In the community, he performs with his church choir and has been requested to play at weddings, funerals and parties, and plays with the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra on occasion. He’s also a former member of the Williamsport Youth Symphony Orchestra. 

Looking ahead, Fisher has his sights set on the Curtis Institute of Music, Julliard, the New England Conservatory of Music or Eastman to pursue a career in music.

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