Natchez High School 10th grader selected to play violin at Carne - - Jackson, MS

Natchez High School 10th grader selected to play violin at Carnegie Hall

Source: Natchez-Adams School District Source: Natchez-Adams School District
Source: Natchez-Adams School District Source: Natchez-Adams School District
NATCHEZ, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A Natchez-Adams School District student is on his way to fame with a violin. 

Azaiah Ambrose, a 10th-grader at Natchez High School, received his golden ticket to New York a couple months ago to play at the prestigious Carnegie Hall. 

This was Ambrose’s first audition for the High School Honors Performance Series and will be his first-ever trip to New York.  The trip from February 1 to 5 will be his first time traveling with his violin. 

“I was really happy, shocked,” Ambrose said, when reading the long-awaited selection email.  But first, it was his mom, Kim Ambrose, who kept the news a secret, just for a moment.   

His mom said that she had not received an email.  A discouraged Ambrose swapped seats with mom to check the email for himself.

“My mom said that she hadn’t got the email,” Ambrose recalled.  “I was like, with a surprise look, ‘I didn’t make it.’  Then, she said, ‘Well you did,’ so I guess she tried to surprise me or something.”

When mom first saw the email, she could not believe what she saw. 

“My heart started to beat a little faster,” Kim Ambrose said.  “I just couldn’t believe it.  All I could think about right after was now we need to do what we need to do to get him there. I’m really proud of him; his family is really proud of him.  He has family down in New Orleans.  His grandmother is really proud of him.”

According to the Series’ website, the Honors Performance Series features high school musicians selected from an international pool of applicants. Led by conductors Jason Seber, Jeffrey Grogan, and Kirt Mosier, the Honors Instrumental Ensembles perform selections by Bernstein, Holst, Stravinsky, Ticheli, and others. 

Since it opened in 1891, Carnegie Hall has set the international standard for musical excellence as the aspirational destination for the world’s finest artists.

To pass the Carnegie Hall audition with musical excellence, Ambrose said he had to practice a lot.

“I went from 10 minutes of practicing to about 40 minutes of practicing a day, and sometime, 40 to an hour.  I got opportunities as you know, playing in weddings and churches and stuff like that which made me feel that I’m getting better, so going to Carnegie Hall, I’m like, ‘Why Not?’”

Now, Ambrose continues to practice to get ready for the big concert on February 5, 2018.

Ambrose hopes to play his violin as first chair, the highest-ranked position in a music section; he will find that out after he arrives.

His local private violin instructor, David Troutman, is helping him prepare.  Troutman has him playing more classical music to reflect the pieces to be played in New York.

Ambrose’s dream to travel professionally with his violin continues.  He plans to apply for the Sydney Opera House in Australia during the next Performance Series’ application period.  If selected for Australia, he would be the District’s second student to play in the Opera House after his best friend, Darren Smith, who will take his second consecutive trip to Australia this summer to play in the Performance Series. 

When asked for his final reaction to the big opportunity in the Big Apple, Ambrose repeated, “I’m real excited to be traveling somewhere for the first time with my violin.”

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