So far, the trumpet has taken Santa Rosa High School sophomore David Green on quite a ride. It started in 2015 with a tour of Asia with the Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra and its conductor, Richard Loheyde. “I kept going from there,” Green said.
His mother, Cherie Green, described it another way: “He was hooked.”
The musical adventure continued last summer when he was chosen to participate in a three-week, intensive training program in New York for the inaugural National Youth Orchestra 2 (NYO2). As one of four trumpet players and one of the three youngest musicians there, he took workshops and performed with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra while visiting the Met Opera and the Juilliard School in between subway rides and bites of giant New York pizza slices.
“We ate lunch with the Philadelphia orchestra musicians and constantly asked questions,” Green said. “I learned an insane amount … at the end, we spent three days in Philadelphia and performed at Verizon Hall (home of the Philadelphia Orchestra).”
This summer, Green will head back east from June 30 to July 23 for another three-week stint with the 78-member NYO2, where he will once again bond with fellow musicians and participate in private lessons and chamber music, rehearsals and performances under the guidance of members of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
“This year, we’re going to Philly first and will perform in Verizon,” he said. “Then we’re going back to New York to play in Carnegie.”
Green and his colleagues in the NYO2 will not only get to make their debut at Carnegie Hall, performing side-by-side with the Philadelphia Orchestra, but will accompany special guest vocalist and bassist Esperanza Spalding, a young, fast-rising star of the jazz world. They will also have an opportunity to interact with some of the local, young musicians.
The NYO2 program, aimed at musicians ages 14 to 17, is an extension of Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra of the USA, a three-week training residency that provides similar training to young adults ages 16 to 19, who also get to go on a tour of the music capitals of the world. Both Carnegie Hall programs are free and aimed at expanding the pool of young musicians across the country equipped to succeed at the highest level.
Green fits that description to a T. His goal is to study trumpet performance at a university or conservatory, then win a seat as a principal trumpet in a major orchestra. Green started taking trumpet lessons in third grade and has never looked back. He now practices three hours a day in addition to daily rehearsals for the SRHS band, bi-weekly practice sessions for the SRJC Jazz Band and weekly rehearsals of the Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra.
“He’s uncommonly focused on a single goal,” said Mark Wardlaw, head of instrumental music at SRHS, who has taught Green since middle school. “He’s unwaveringly committed to the discipline that pursuit requires … his private trumpet teacher, the highly respected Daniel Gianola-Norris, once told me that David ‘makes me realize what it is to be truly talented.’”
Trumpets have been played throughout history for religious and cultural rites and as well as for all kinds of military communication. Eventually, the brilliant color of the instrument made its way into concert and jazz halls, where its piercing power in the high register has been artfully mastered by trumpeters ranging from Wynton Marsalis and Alison Balsom to Dizzy Gillespie and Arturo Sandoval.