Cello-Playing Siblings Perform at Carnegie Hall

By Anna Bintinger, Marketing and Policy Intern

For siblings Michelle and Octavio, the opportunity to visit and play on stage at Carnegie Hall with their school orchestra was a dream come true.

Michelle, 17, and Octavio, 16, have been involved with orchestra since middle school. They both play the cello.

“I used to play violin. I loved playing it, but then I wanted to play cello because it seemed like a really cool instrument,” Michelle said.

“I picked it when we tested out different instruments in sixth grade. Once I saw the cello, I stuck with it,” Octavio said.

Though both students sit in the same orchestra section at Shorewood High School, they spent time apart as they explored New York City with their friends.

“Each person in the group got a different choices of excursions,” Octavio said. “Mine were usually museums, because they’re a lot of fun. We explored them with our friends before meeting back up with the group.”

“I saw attractions like the Empire State Building and the 9/11 Memorial,” Michelle said. “I also got to see the Statue of Liberty, which was nice.”

The main event of the trip—their performance at Carnegie Hall—was both exciting and nerve-racking for both of the siblings.

“I was nervous because I had heard about the acoustics. If you mess up one thing, everybody can hear it. At the same time, I kept my cool and was able to play my music,” Michelle said.

“It was really intimidating looking at the place where professionals play, but playing at Carnegie was great,” Octavio said.

Sherry Edwards, Michelle and Octavio’s Treehouse Education Specialist, emphasized the magnitude of the trip, which was funded by our Little Wishes program.

“It’s life changing,” Sherry said.

She stressed the team effort necessary to make this dream a reality. Before she started working at Treehouse, the kids she served were in similar situations. Unfortunately, there was no way to fund similar opportunities without pulling the money out of her own pocket or asking her friends for help.

“Thank you Treehouse. And the Shoreline School District staff, especially Melyssa Stone, were so supportive in working with us and making sure that Michelle and Octavio had everything they needed. The whole orchestra community was amazing,” Sherry said.

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About the Author

Anna Bintinger is a Marketing and Policy Intern at Treehouse. She is passionate about sharing others’ stories to make a positive change.

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