Peninsula Youth Orchestra performs in the Performing Arts Center


Sophie Lynd

Instruments, tuned to perfection, wait for performers on stage as the audience takes their seats.

Sophie Lynd, Highlander Editor-in-Chief

Over 300 students participate in Carlmont’s instrumental music program. About 200 of those students take their musical talents outside of Carlmont to the Peninsula Youth Orchestra.

On March 3 and 4, the Peninsula Youth Orchestra (PYO) performed at Carlmont.

PYO is a group of four orchestras with student musicians from elementary school to high school. Many of PYO’s musicians come from Carlmont.

Sophomore Noa Carreras said, “Out of the four oboists, three are from here. Also, half of the bassoon section and three of the four clarinets [are from Carlmont].”

There are many differences between Carlmont’s instrumental music program and PYO. According to sophomore Kayleigh Bhatt, Carlmont bands do not include string instruments like violins and violas. But because PYO includes those instruments, the result is a completely different sound.

“It opens you up to new styles and methods,” said Carreras, “You also play more classical music from well-known composers.”

Bhatt said the exposure to different songs and styles helps musicians improve in areas they wouldn’t usually be exposed to at school.

“The practice and different songs give you more practice time. The more you practice, the better you get,” said Bhatt.

The PYO group rehearses in the band room every Sunday, and all four groups perform concerts every three to four months in the Performing Arts Center.

Carreras said, “It’s a different rehearsal experience since you’re not meeting with them every day. PYO is much more advanced since it’s the best of the best from all over, not just Carlmont.”

Both Carreras and Bhatt are members of PYO, but sophomore Carissa Wong is a member of Peninsula Young Artists (PYA). PYA is a preparatory orchestra whose musicians can work their way up to the PYO group.

PYA students also have an opportunity to go on a tour of Europe to visit the homelands of many famous composers along with historically famous music halls. Carreras was part of PYA last year and toured Prague and Vienna with her orchestra.

“It was magical to see those historical places where so many of the composers we had studied grew up,” Carreras said. “We became closer as an orchestra and even met other Americans who were on the same trip we were.”

PYO’s next performance at Carlmont and last performance of the year is May 20.

“During our last two shows, we feature the talented musicians that won the concierto competition. I’m especially excited for Maya’s [Maya Sun, a senior] performance on oboe in the next concert,” said Carreras.