Shira Samuels-Shragg, a junior at Highland Hall Waldorf School, has been awarded a conducting apprenticeship with the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA).
Samuels-Shragg, a classical pianist, adept violist and budding conductor, was only 6 when she began her musical career with piano lessons. She has conducted Highland Hall’s school orchestra under the guidance of music teacher Erick Bluske, who has been involved in Samuels-Shragg’s musical journey since she was in third grade.
“I love how we interweave the depth of our core academic curriculum with courses like bookbinding, veil-painting, bee-keeping, music and movement,” says Samuels-Shragg. “It stretches me past my comfort zone and strengthens my ability to make connections and to feel confident trying new things.”
The apprenticeship puts Sameuls-Shragg one step closer to her goal of becoming a professional conductor. With her apprenticeship, Samuels-Shragg will have the opportunity to play on the famed stage of Carnegie Hall. She will also spend two weeks working with NYO-USA orchestra director James Ross, who also teaches at both Julliard and the University of Maryland, and also observe renowned maestro Charles Dutoit. After graduating, she plans to major in music while acquiring a broad liberal arts education.