Central High wind ensemble wins gold at Carnegie Hall

Sophia Esquivel, Staff Writer


The Central High wind ensemble performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City on Tuesday, March 6th and won gold, the highest honor that can be received at Carnegie Hall. Central band instructor and program director Leonard Ingrande stated, “I was extremely proud of them on and off the stage. They represented Central Unified in the best way possible.”

I’ve never heard anything like the sound of that last note ringing through the hall.”

— Leila Holm

Band members said they were confident and prepared for the high profile venue. Trumpet player Aidan Ortiz said “I wasn’t really nervous because I knew our band was full of talented people. We were all ready for our performance, so I was more excited to show everyone what we, as a band, had worked so hard for.” After learning they’d received the highest honor possible, clarinet player Juana Cruz said that everyone felt “humbled, blessed and ecstatic.” Ingrande was happy about the gold rating, but was most appreciative that his students experienced what it’s like to play in this historic hall, known for featuring the world’s finest musicians since 1891. Ingrande explained, “Being selected as one of the six groups to perform at Carnegie Hall was exciting in itself. To actually perform on this world-renowned stage was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, an experience these kids will never forget.” 

The ensemble left on Friday, March 2nd and arrived back home the following Thursday morning. Throughout the past week, they traveled all around New York City. On Saturday, they toured Lower Manhattan where they visited the 9/11 memorial and museum, then moved onto Midtown to explore Times Square. On Sunday, they went to Rockefeller Center, ventured to the Top of the Rock, and attended the Broadway show Wicked. On Monday, they visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art, then took a dinner cruise on the Hudson River.

Despite all the extraordinary moments these musicians experienced in New York, saxophonist Leila Holm said that her favorite part of the whole trip was, “definitely performing. I’ve always loved playing for people, but I’ve never heard anything like the sound of that last note ringing through the hall.”