Carnegie Hall has announced the names of the students accepted into their NYO2 summer program, including an Atlantan, 17-year-old Tendekai Mawokomatanda.
“If you were selected for NYO2, it means that you are one of the best young musicians in the country and you get to show off your skills with world renowned conductors. So it’s truly an honor to be selected for this program,” Mawokomatanda said.
NYO2 is a national program that recruits orchestral musicians between 14 and 17-years-old from “communities underrepresented in classical music.”
The students will perform at Carnegie Hall on August 1 after their month-long residency at the State University of New York at Purchase.
Mawokomatanda currently attends Interlochen Arts Academy, a boarding school in northwestern Michigan, where he plays the bass.
Before he transferred to Interlochen, Mawokomatanda spent his first two years of high school at DeKalb School of the Arts.
Mawokomatanda spent three years playing with the Emory Youth Symphony Orchestra and two years with the Atlanta Youth Symphony Orchestra. In his final year with each orchestra, he was selected as the principal bass.
At the end of their residency, NYO2 musicians will travel to Miami Beach for a five-day residency, culminating in a performance at the New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy.
Mawokomatanda is especially excited for the Miami Beach residency, and the opportunity to work under Taiwanese-American conductor Mei-Ann Chen.
“She is incredible. It will be my first time working with her but I’ve seen her conducting before,” he said. “The way she conducts is simply amazing and I cannot wait to be under her baton.”
Prior to his transfer to Interlochen Arts Academy, Mawokomatanda participated in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Talent Development Program. The program is designed to develop young Black or Latino orchestral musicians; at the academy, students receive one-on-one lessons and coaching from an Atlanta Symphony Orchestra musician.
Mawokomatanda’s parents, Shongedzai and Tebitha Mawokomatanda, told The Atlanta Voice they are proud of their son, who has always been musically inclined.
“Tendekai did violin, piano and double bass. When he found double bass – his passion – he just stuck there,” said Shongedzai Mawokomatanda.
NYO2 only accepted two students from Georgia into the program this year. The other musician is violin player Kate Sunny Kim from Marietta.
Editor’s Note: After The Atlanta Voice published this article, revisions were made.
This article is one of a series of articles produced by The Atlanta Voice through support provided by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to Word In Black, a collaborative of 10 Black-owned media outlets across the country.