Greta Hardy-Mittell, clarinet
Middlebury Union High
VT Youth Orchestra – 3 years
VT Youth Philharmonia – 1 year
What do you love about being in an orchestra?
Orchestra is my favorite part of playing clarinet. It is such an ensemble experience, with a rich texture combining all the sounds of almost every classical instrument, but its clarinet parts are also individually so much fun! Playing orchestra music sends chills down my back because it’s so beautiful.
What role has the VYOA played in your musical career?
Without the VYOA, I don’t think I’d be the musician I am today. I probably wouldn’t have done so many festivals, I might not even have taken private clarinet lessons, and I certainly wouldn’t have played so much fantastic repertoire! VYO proved to me that I am a good clarinetist, along with introducing me to perhaps my favorite type of classical music.
What would you like to change in the orchestral world?
More representation of women and people of color! I have yet to have had an orchestra conductor who is not a white or Asian man, and I would especially love to one day have a woman conductor, being a girl who might be interested in conducting at some point in my life.
What has been your most inspiring or memorable musical experience?
Along those lines: in All States my freshman year, our band conductor was a woman whom I really looked up to and enjoyed working with. On the last day of the festival, she arranged the band in a circle and invited students into the middle to look at the score and conduct. Little freshman me, shy but eager, raised her hand and walked into the middle, trembling. The experience of standing there with a fantastic ensemble playing all around me will never leave me, and it certainly pushed me forward to keep pursuing music in ensembles and improving at the clarinet throughout my next three years of high school.
What is your favorite VYOA memory?
Probably the day when Dr. Cumming (2016-17 Interim VYO Conductor) decided to take about half of rehearsal to tell us about his experiences with Tom Hanks and Yo Yo Ma! We all just sat there in awe and looked at each other like, is this guy for real? Is this guy really our orchestra conductor? And he was!
Apart from orchestral music, what other kind of music do you love?
Piano repertoire (obviously), especially romantic pieces. I also love jazz, funk, indie/folk/pop, 80s stuff, and musicals!
What other activities do you participate in?
Too many! I love to write creatively, play scholar’s bowl, and run cross country, to name a few.
If you already know, what college or university do you plan to attend next year?
Carleton College, in Northfield, Minnesota!
What do you plan to study in college?
Maybe Environmental Studies, English, or Linguistics, or maybe something completely different that I haven’t even taken a class in yet. I definitely plan to keep playing music, too, especially solo piano and, you got it, orchestra!