NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- They're no strangers to the stage, but 10 New Rochelle High School orchestra students have been stepping up their rehearsals for a moment in the brighter footlights tonight, when they will join other area students at Purchase College performing with the genre-busting duo Black Violin.
The act has gained a following for its sound meshing classical, hip-hop, rock, R&B and bluegrass. At 8 p.m. tonight, the Florida-based duo will perform in the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College with the Purchase Symphony Orchestra and musicians from seven Westchester high schools. The New Rochelle students will be among them.
"I think it's pretty amazing," said junior Melanie Acosta. "Not just anyone can say they played with Black Violin."
Acosta is one of seven violinists from NRHS who will join the act. The three other students play a viola, a cello and a bass. This week, the performers were practicing and preparing to be paired up with students from the other schools.
"It will be very interesting to have that new dynamic of stand partners when you don't know the other person going into it," said senior Katie D'Alois, also a violinist.
The NRHS students performing, by instrument, are:
Violin: Melanie Acosta, junior; Isaiah Amir-Townes, junior; Katie D'Alois, senior; Isaiah Fernandez, junior; Matthew Gomez, sophomore; Casey Young, senior; Theresia Young, senior
Viola: Maxwell Pottinger, senior
Cello: Justice Mickens, senior
Bass: Jeremiah Adme, junior
Teacher Suzanne Morello is impressed with their dedication. Morello is the orchestra director, but she said the students have been rehearsing for tonight's performance on their own - in addition to their usual practices.
She said they will benefit from accompanying such an innovative act.
"To reimagine classical music in fresh and modern ways is important for them - and for the art form," she said.