VYOA Senior Spotlight!

Meet two of the members of VYO’s percussion section in this week’s Senior Spotlight!


Alex He, percussion

Essex High

VT Youth Orchestra – 1 year

VT Youth Philharmonia – 3 years

VT Youth Sinfonia – 1 year

VT Youth Winds – 1 year






Nick Mantegna, percussion

Vermont Commons

VT Youth Orchestra – 3 years

VT Youth Philharmonia – 2 years

VT Youth Winds – 2 years









What do you love about being in an orchestra?

He: The diversity in sound that comes with the orchestra is really amazing. And then when all the sections come together to form a coherent sound, it’s really cool to be a part of that.

What advice would you give to younger music students as they strive to build their skills?

Mantegna: I would tell younger musicians to try and find a section or technique of music they enjoy. Once they find it, keep working at it and find ways to make it part of yourself.

He: Persistence is important and all, but enjoying the music is probably the most important.

What has been your most inspiring or memorable musical experience?

Mantegna: My trip to Iceland is my most memorable experience I had with the VYOA.

Apart from orchestral music, what other kind of music do you love?

Mantegna: I love listening to music that is similar to the artist Odesza. I also like alternative and electronic genres.

He: Swedish Death Metal

If you could collaborate with any musician, living or dead, who would it be and why?

He: Beethoven, as he was deaf, so he wouldn’t be able hear all the mistakes I make.

What other activities do you participate in?

Mantegna: I am an avid downhill and backcountry skier. I also am a proud Ultimate Frisbee player.

What do you plan to study in college?

Mantegna: I plan to probably study snow science or environmental science/studies in college.

He: Economics with a math focus at Northwestern University