“Honestly, at first, I was kind of nervous, but then in my mind, I was thinking ‘It’s just another concert.”
This is how junior Rohan Naik described his experience on stage at one of the most prestigious venues for music, Carnegie Hall. However, for Rohan, performing at Carnegie Hall was the rewarding result of considerable hard work and practice.
Rohan’s journey in music started at a very young age. When he was just three years old, Rohan began singing, and two years later at age five, he began playing the violin. When talking about how he got involved playing the violin, he referred back to a fond memory. “My parents took me to a music store in India, and originally I was interested in the guitar, drums, and the flute, but then I found the violin,” Rohan recalled. “I picked it up and started fiddling around with it like any kid my age would do, and that’s what drove me to start playing it.”
At KO, Rohan sings in the all-boys a capella group Crimson 7 and plays in KO’s orchestra. Outside of school, he continues to pursue his musical endeavors. He plays in the West Hartford Symphony Orchestra, and for a couple of ensembles at the Hartt school as well.
Rohan practices the violin for at least 20-30 minutes every day, but when he is preparing for very important performances, he practices for at least an hour a day as those pieces can be highly complex. Because Rohan is involved in a number of musical groups, managing his time is crucial to his success in both the classroom and on stage. “Most of the homework that is given to me I try to finish at school during a free period or between sports and my next ensemble activity,” he mentioned. “I try to manage my time as effectively as I can.” When asked about the process for getting to play at Carnegie Hall, Rohan explained that the conductor of KO’s orchestra Richard Chiarappa sent out a letter of recommendation to the Honors Performances Series program, which is allied with Carnegie Hall. Last year, Rohan received a certificate of acceptance and then auditioned to earn a spot in the orchestra, playing at Carnegie Hall. Six months later, on Halloween, he received the good news and was ecstatic.
Prior to the performance on Feb. 10, he arrived several days early to practice with the full orchestra. In those days leading up to the concert, there was an extremely rigorous rehearsal schedule.When the concert finally came, he just zoned in on the music. Instead of getting caught up in the moment, he did what he does best: stepped up to the challenge and performed.