Runnels School sophomore Evan Beoubay played clarinet at Carnegie Hall in New York City on Feb. 10 as part of the venue's High School Honors Performance Series. The program brings together accomplished student musicians in grades nine through 12 from around the world for five days in New York to prepare for and present a concert at the celebrated venue, according to a news release.
A member of the Runnels Band since fourth grade, Evan worried that he would be “burned out” by the intense experience of rehearsing and performing at Carnegie Hall but found that it renewed his passion for playing the clarinet.
“We practiced eight hours a day for the first two days,” he said, adding that the music they had to learn was difficult. “It was at the level of what the Baton Rouge Symphony plays,” he said. His honor band prepared three pieces for the performance: “Overture to Candide” by Leonard Bernstein, “Danzon No. 2” by Arturo Marquez and “Angels in the Architecture” by Frank Ticheli.
In spite of the rigorous schedule, there was still time to get to know other students and do a little sightseeing, the release said. Evan said he hung out with students from Alaska, Guam and Poland. “I plan to contact them soon,” he said, adding that they ate a lot of pizza, New York style of course, which he thought was “pretty good.”
After the Feb. 10 concert, the band went for a celebratory after-party cruise aboard a private yacht. The group also toured Times Square and the Statue of Liberty, saw "Phantom of the Opera" on Broadway and went to the Top of the Rock observation deck at Rockefeller Center.
In the end, Evan gave the whole trip a huge thumbs up. “I loved the experience and had the time of my life. I would recommend it to anybody who has the time and interest.” In fact, he may be sending his music audition tape to the Performance Series again, this time to apply for an Honor Band program at the Sydney Opera House in Australia.
In addition to performing in the advanced band at Runnels, Evan has been selected to the East Baton Rouge Parish Honor Band, the District Honor Band and, for two years in row, to the Southeastern Louisiana University Invitational Band. He is active in the Robotics Club and Mu Alpha Theta and is a member of the tennis team.
Evan is the son of Brett and Leigh Beoubay, who both accompanied him to New York along with two of his grandparents to watch his Carnegie Hall debut.