Rochester student named to national orchestra

03:20 PM, Mar 05, 2013

Martine Thomas, a junior at Wilson Magnet High School, is a member of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States, organized by Carnegie Hall. (Kurt Brownell/Photo provided by Eastman Community)/


Written By Catherine Roberts | Lead Local Editor/Life

Martine Thomas, a junior at Wilson Magnet High School, has been chosen for a new national youth orchestra created by Carnegie Hall.

The National Youth Orchestra of the United States will tour to Washington, D.C., St. Petersburg, Russia, and London in July after a residency. Carnegie’s Weill Music Institute chose 120 players ages 16 to 19, from 42 states, were announced on Monday. Violin superstar Joshua Bell will be soloist with the group.

I’m thrilled,” said Thomas, 16, who is an International Bacculaureate student at Wilson and also participates in the Pathways program for City School District students at Eastman Community School. She takes private lessons, as well as music theory and history classes, and also participates in chamber ensembles.

The recognition comes after Thomas made a huge decision.

Last summer, she studied at the prestigious Meadowmount School of Music in the Adirondacks, where Bell, as well as Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman, studied. Faculty there recommended she learn viola as well as violin. By the end of the summer, she was sold.

I really loved the instrument because of the deep tone and the size and pretty much everything about it,” she said. “I came back in the fall and told my family and my teacher, and they were on board with it.”

She started playing violin when she was 3 at Hochstein School of Music and Dance, where her mother, Joan Kinsella, is on the cello faculty and coordinator of the Suzuki program. She took violin at Hochstein until she transferred from School of the Arts middle school to Wilson and was accepted in the Pathways program.

Thomas, whose father is radio show host Michael Warren Thomas, lives in the 19th Ward.