WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - As is always the case, The Kennedy Center will have some talented musicians on stage Tuesday night. But these are not the typical professionals you may be used to seeing. Instead, it will be some of the region's most talented kids, as the DC Youth Orchestra Program is hitting the 2,500-person venue for a free concert.
This is a story that comes alive through sound, so take a moment and watch the video, to hear their performance at their latest rehearsal this Saturday.
Approximately 65 students will be performing on stage, who are as young as 8th-graders. At the performance, graduate of the program, Sydney Ebersohl, will have a solo.
"It's how I speak to people," she said. "I'm a very quiet person socially. And I feel like I can speak through my violin to audiences."
The students are just a small selection of the approximately 600 students enrolled in DCYOP. The students' ages range between 4.5 and 18, and come from 200 schools, and 100 zip-codes in our region. The students represent D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
Melissa Jones is a Sophomore, and said it's special being a part of a team-oriented group like this.
"That's probably the best feeling you can have as a musician," she said. "When you're playing and everyone is in synch. And you know it sounds great."
Leading the students is an eccentric conductor, named Mariano Vales. He said the program is all about coming together.
"It not only unifies people from different strata," he said. "But also from different cultures. Different languages. This is the most diverse orchestra in the country I think."
The program has a rolling price range, so that it can be inclusive. Low income students can join for just $25.
John Joire is one of the younger students, in eighth grade. He said he was nervous, but also eager to get on stage.
"I'm excited," he said. "Bring it on."
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