It's a hot summer afternoon and the recital hall at Purchase College is abuzz with excitement and nervous energy. One hundred and twenty teenagers, from 42 states, are about to embark on an extraordinary musical and personal journey.
Clive Gillinson, executive director of Carnegie Hall, steps up to the podium to greet them. "Welcome to all of you," he says. "It's wonderful to welcome you here to the first-ever National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America!"