East End string players set to perform under acclaimed conductor

GIANNA VOLPE PHOTO | Young string musicians practice for an open rehearsal under the baton of virtuoso Itzhak Perlman at Southold High School today.

Picture this.

You’re a musician and you’ve been selected to participate in an orchestra.

You are led by the baton of internationally acclaimed violin virtuoso and maestro Itzhak Perlman.

Now imagine that you’re just a kid, between 8 and 14 years old.

That dream will become a reality Friday for 50 young East End musicians.

These exceptional East End youths, dubbed the East End Arts Student Orchestra, will participate in an open rehearsal with the acclaimed conductor and his 40-musician Perlman Music Program Orchestra on Friday, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Southold High School.

“This program is about bringing people together,” said East End Arts education director Steve Watson. “We have local high school students mentoring middle school students from all over the East End in preparation for a collaboration with international students, under the tutelage of the greatest violinist of our time.”

The young string players gathered July 11 at the East End Arts Carriage House in Riverhead for the first of three rehearsals to prepare them for an opportunity to work under Maestro Perlman’s baton.

Eight-year-old cello player Dreanne Joseph said Mr. Watson chose her to perform with the East End Arts Student Orchestra because of the progress she’s made in the past year playing string instruments.

“Music is just a part of my life,” Dreanne said. “I play the cello because I like the sound.”

Friday evening’s dual orchestra performance will be followed by a question-and-answer session and then a separate 7 p.m. concert performed solely by the Shelter Island-based Perlman Music Program Orchestra, an ensemble of exceptional 12- to 18-year-old musicians from around the world.

The Perlman Music Program offers intensive summer programs, year-round mentoring and, on occasion, international studies or performance tours to young musicians between the ages of 12 and 30 who have exceptional talent for playing violin, viola, cello, bass and piano. The program faculty is led by Mr. Perlman.

More information about the program can be found at

The East End Arts School’s music program has 200 students per semester studying everything from voice, piano, drums, violin, guitar and orchestral instruments to music composition and recording. For more information about EEA’s music program or other arts programming, call (631) 369-2171 or visit

Tickets are required for Friday’s performance by the Perlman Music Program Orchestra and can be purchased at businesses such as D’Angela Leather in Greenport, Erik’s in Southold and the Village Cheese Shop in Mattituck. For more information call (212) 877-4045.

The earlier open rehearsal with the East End Arts Student Orchestra is free.

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