Upper School Violinists Accepted into Two Prestigious Summer Music Programs
Senior Isabella and junior Marena Miki competed against hundreds from around the world to claim spots in Switzerland and New York, respectively.
Two talented and dedicated Crossroads students—twelfth grader Isabella and eleventh grader Marena Miki—are making their music heard around the world. After facing fierce competition, Isabella, a violinist in the Elizabeth Mandell Music Institute (EMMI), has been admitted to the Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra. She will spend three weeks this summer at the world-renowned Verbier Festival, a classical music concert series in the beautiful mountain village of Verbier in the Swiss Alps. The trip will be her first to Europe, and she is thrilled to be attending.
Marena, also an EMMI violinist, had a successful audition for the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America. Of the hundreds of violinists who auditioned this year, only 32, including Marena, were selected. This summer, as a member of the orchestra, Marena will perform at Carnegie Hall. He played the famed music hall once before, and he’s excited to return with such a prestigious program.
Emily Stewart, director of EMMI and K-12 Strings, says both students “are very sincere in their efforts to become the best musicians they can possibly be. They have extremely high expectations of themselves. They set goals and they set out to achieve them.”
Isabella has been playing since she was seven. Her mother signed her up for violin lessons after watching her constantly pretend to play along with Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.” Marena began studying the violin 12 years ago after trying his hand at piano. Each student came to Crossroads with the express purpose of studying with EMMI and Alex Treger, the EMMI conductor.
Both students believe Crossroads was instrumental in helping them achieve their goals. Isabella expressed, “It’s incredible to study orchestra with Mr. Treger. He’s so respected, and he gives us so much knowledge. Emily is wonderful and very forward-thinking.” Marena says being a student here “gave him the freedom to practice and prepare.”
“When [Isabella and Marena] shared the news,” Emily recalled, “it was clear that it was just a huge bonus of their experience. That’s a really cool perspective that I hope they gain from the diverse program at Crossroads.”