Zempolich and Mietus Selected to Play for National Youth Orchestra

This summer, the 2 students will embark on a coast-to-coast tour of the United States, playing in world famous venues

Eleven years of hard work will pay off in a coast-to-coast tour.

Juniors John Mietus and Grant Zempolich have been selected to play for the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, an initiative started by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. Last year only two students from Ohio earned this honor.

Zempolich and Mietus have each played their instruments, cello and bass, respectively, for 11 years. This summer they will play with students from across the country.

This national orchestra comprises about 120 students ages 16-19 who have special musical talents. To earn the selection, Mietus and Zempolich had to send in audition tapes. They were notified of their acceptances in February.

Last year, NYO-USA debuted when the group of high school musicians spent two weeks training with professional orchestra musicians and then embarked on a tour of some of the world’s best music capitals, including Moscow, London and Washington D.C. This summer, the orchestra will tour America coast-to-coast.

“I’m hoping my musical talent will miraculously keep me from the inevitability of homelessness,” Mietus joked. Mietus’ life is music. Outside of school, he plays in the Cleveland Youth Orchestra and is involved with the Cleveland Philharmonic, El Sistema, a music education program, and Community Outreach of Devoted Artists, a music club that Zempolich started at Shaker. Besides bass, Mietus also plays piano, ukulele and guitar. After high school, Meitus hopes to attend a music conservatory, citing the Curtis Conservatory in Philadelphia as his first choice.

While Zempolich loves music, he also has other interests. “I’m planning to dual major in cello performance and engineering. Later in life, I see myself integrating both fields in my life,” he said. Zempolich also plays in the Cleveland Youth Orchestra. At Shaker, he is on the soccer and tennis teams and heads CODA.

The coast-to-coast tour will last two weeks following two weeks of training . Some notable locations where the students will perform include Carnegie Hall in New York City, Millennium Park in Chicago, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.

Both Mietus and Zempolich expressed their excitement for this summer. Zempolich said his love for music comes from “the experiences like this.”


Comment using your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL or Hotmail account