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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Only 120 students from across the country have been selected to perform with the Carnegie Hall National Youth Orchestra of United States this summer and 2 are from Kentuckiana.
Manual High School student, Christopher Zhou, picked up his first clarinet in 4th grade.
"Wind instruments I feel are more like an extension of your body…There was one instrument that really stood out to me: it had a really dark powerful sound, and it was the clarinet," he says.
Floyd Central's Jared Murray found the cello, the same year. He was first drawn to the viola but there was just one problem: standing for all that time.
"And that's why I chose the cello so I could sit down and play," says Murray.
Both students have been selected to perform with the brightest young players from across the country to form the National Youth Orchestra of the United States. They got the call after an extensive audition process.
"After we hung up I did a little dance around the house," says Murray.
"Of course I was bouncing off the walls," says Zhou.
This summer they'll spend two weeks in New York training with some of the best conductors in the world at Carnegie Hall. They'll perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and then they'll embark on a world tour playing in London, St. Petersburg and Moscow.
"I love, love, love the Russian composers. I love their music," says Zhou.
"I would love to be an orchestral cellist -- that's the ultimate goal," says Murray.
While balancing hours of rehearsal with school work is a challenge, Jared and Christopher both say, they can't not play. The music comes from somewhere within.
"I just get into a place in my head and just play," says Murray.
There's an internal craving for that next performance.
"There's nothing else in the world that can give you such a feel," describes Zhou.