Moanalua symphony prepares for Carnegie Hall performance

By Moanike'ala Nabarro
Published On: Mar 21 2013 06:07:00 PM HST

Orchestra students a Moanalua High School are headed to New York to play in concert at Carnegie Hall.

HONOLULU -

Symphony students at Moanalua High School are headed to New York to play in concert at Carnegie Hall.

Moanalua High School senior Margaret Lee is preparing for the biggest performance of her life.

"I was overjoyed because -- Carnegie Hall -- how do you beat that?" said Lee.  "It's a long road and it's very difficult but it's all worth it.

Lee and 91 of her fellow symphony musicians focus during rehearsal for their big performance in the Big Apple.

Under the baton and guidance of their teacher, Elden Seta, students learn that it takes a lot of patience and energy to perform at a level worthy of Carnegie Hall.

"First thing you think is, it's a really big honor, but it isn't.  It's really more of a privilege," said Seta.

Seta has taken two other Moanalua symphonies to New York -- the first in 1998 and the second in 2005.

Seta says the road to Carnegie demands excellence.

"Sometimes, what I ask them to do can be a little bit above their level," said Seta.  "But that's how we get them to stretch and learn."

Seta says when people think of school orchestras they automatically think of private schools.  But, over 25 years, he's worked to make the symphony a part of life for students at Moanalua High.

"The students don't have to be smarter than anyone else or richer than anybody else.  They gotta just work harder than anyone else and, in my opinion, that's what gets them through life,' said Seta.

The symphony starts their 10-day journey on Friday, March 21.  Their performance at Carnegie Hall is on March 31 -- Easter Sunday -- at 8 p.m.

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