For senior Rohan Naik, playing the violin has become part of his identity. When Rohan was six, he started taking violin lessons. He joined the school orchestra for the first time when he was in sixth grade and has been a member of musical groups ever since. Now, he plays in some of the most acclaimed music halls in the world such as Carnegie Hall in New York City and the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia, where he performed over the summer.
Rohan earned his spot to play at Carnegie Hall in the High School Honors Performance program. From this group of musicians that played in New York, he was given the opportunity to send in an audition tape to be considered to perform in Sydney. He was one of 100 musicians who received a chance to play in Australia out of 10,000 that applied.
He flew to Sydney with his family and arrived two days early to get used to the time change and experience the city. On the third day, Rohan joined his fellow musicians to start practicing. “In the beginning, the rehearsals were difficult, but as time went on, the pieces started to sound better,” he said.
The orchestra performed pieces from “Schindler’s List” composed by John Williams and the difficult “Symphony #4” by Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich. While Rohan was there, he met fellow performers from all over the United States and around the world including China, Ireland and the Philippines. “Although I played with the same people at Carnegie Hall, it was great to see them again,” said Rohan.
Playing in Carnegie Hall got Naik excited to keep playing violin. “Technically Rohan continues to get better, and when he returned from Carnegie Hall he was fired up to keep playing,” Kingswood Oxford Orchestra Director Richard Chiarappa said.
Rohan made the most of the time he had over the summer. “Playing at the Sydney Opera House was a great experience and with the amazing sounds of the orchestra and the sights of the city, it is definitely a summer trip I will never forget,” he said.
Currently, Rohan is the assistant to the concertmaster in the KO Orchestra and also plays with Mr. Chiarappa in the West Hartford Symphony Orchestra. In the future, Rohan would love to play in college and continue to improve his skills as a violinist.