CDO orchestra

CDO Orchestra director Toru Tagawa leads his students in preparing for next year’s trip to NYC.

Canyon Del Oro High School has long been known for the varied triumphs and successes of its students; whether on the field, on the court, on stage or in the classroom. 

Next March, the school will add a Carnegie Hall performance to its list of achievements.

Just months ago, the high school’s orchestra was invited to perform at the historic New York City venue after submitting videos of past performances to a highly competitive process. The group was personally invited to play in NYC by Adam Boyles, one of the clinicians the orchestra students will work with at Carnegie Hall. 

Boyles, currently the professor of orchestra at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was formerly the music director of the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra and has even more significant ties to southern Arizona. Prior to graduating from the University of Arizona, Boyles attended CDO, Cross Middle School and Mesa Verde Elementary School. 

To make the trip a reality, the orchestra is currently asking the community for donations to send 40 musicians, including a dozen band students. According to band director Toru Tagawa, the total cost for the students and chaperones is estimated to be $75,000 for four days and three nights. 

“I never had the opportunity myself to go to Carnegie Hall,” Tagawa said. “That I can offer students that is unbelievable. I went New York City as a high school student but we didn’t perform at Carnegie Hall, we performed at the shopping center, which was cool back then but to perform at a historical, big auditorium is an honor. Students and parents will remember that for their lives.”

Tagawa said that he and the Orchestra booster club began raising funds in August and have collected more than $10,000 by the beginning of September. Tagawa said that the support they have received so far has been phenomenal, but there is still much work ahead.

Sixteen violins, four violas, seven cellos, two basses, three clarinets, two trumpets, three trombones and two percussionists are planned to make the trip, and Tagawa has chosen for them to play The Barber of Seville overture by Gioachino Rossini and Beethoven’s fifth symphony, last movement.

In regards to donations, Tagawa has asked community members to consider donating their Arizona Tax Credit for 2016 and 2017 to the orchestra. To make a donation, make a check payable to Canyon del Oro High School and indicate in the memo: “Orchestra Trip to Carnegie Hall.” 

All donations of any amount (tax credit or non-tax credit) are appreciated.  

Please send your donations to:

Canyon del Oro High School

Attn: Toru Tagawa, Orchestra Director

25 W. Calle Concordia

Oro Valley, AZ 85704

For more information on the orchestra visit where there is also a link for the tax credit form.

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