Alex Oh (12) to audition for Yale Symphony Orchestra


Mira Bansal, Contributing Writer

After dedicating 12 years to playing the cello, Alexander Oh (12) will audition for the Yale University orchestra.

When he was six years old, Oh’s sister played the piano, and his mother wanted to give him a chance to play an instrument, so he chose the cello, he said. However, he only began taking the cello more seriously at 13, when he sustained an injury that did not allow him to play sports and as such forced him to shift his energy elsewhere. 

Oh has played in the New York Youth Symphony’s (NYYS) chamber music program for five years, and he has also played in the NYYS orchestra for the past two years. Outside of the NYYS, Oh mostly plays in summer music festivals. 

“I wanted to pursue music in some way,” Oh said. “It would be a waste if I didn’t because I had played for so long.” Oh thought about applying to a conservatory, a university that specializes in music. However, a conservatory setting would have been a large commitment since it is difficult to have a career as a full-time classical musician, he said. Instead, Oh plans on continuing cello as a hobby after he graduates from college and eventually teaching children to play. 

“Yale has a great orchestra program, so I thought this was a good opportunity to not fully commit to playing music, but a great way to keep on going and meet other people who are really interested in music,” Oh said. 

Oh is nervous to be in a new environment with unfamiliar people because he does not know what their skill sets will be, but he is still excited to make new connections, he said. “It’s just another group of people that you’re able to meet and able to connect with.”