Meet the Conductor - Barry Zhou
How long have you been with NYS?
I have been with the NYS since December 2018.
When did you start playing music?
I started piano very early and I've loved music class from a very young age, but I was always a bit of a rebellious spirit and convinced my parent to allow me to quit (one of things I regret most). When it came time to choose an instrument in school, I jumped at the chance to join our 4th grade trumpet section and I've been hooked ever since.
Did you have a music teacher that stood out and had an influence on you?
Every music teacher I've ever had holds a special place in my heart, but there are two that stand out in particular. In my training as a conductor, I was very fortunate to study with Glen Adsit of the Hartt School of Music for three separate summers. He has always inspired me with his mastery of the craft, his strong emotional and musical instincts, and his deep sense of caring for his students. I will also never forget the first day I showed to band camp with my first high school band director, Lisa Abel (now currently at Simsbury High School). It was a long, exhausting rehearsal and we didn't see much success that day, but I remember very clearly how much I loved her speech to us at the end of the day. She acknowledged how frustrated we all felt, but encouraged all of us to come back tomorrow and keep working hard. It was from that moment I knew I wanted to be a music teacher. and I hope to pass on that same type of inspiration to all the students here at NYS.
Did you always want to be a conductor/music educator?
Funny story. Before I was so inspired by high school band, my cousin had mentioned to me that she was considering becoming a music teacher for a career. My first reaction was to tease her about how ridiculous that was. How the tables have turned!
If you weren't a conductor, what career would you want to try?
If I weren't a conductor, I'd probably try to find a career where I can still work with people and develop relationships just like conductors do. But I'm also a technically-minded person so I'd be very interested in many different fields of research as well.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself that most people don't know.
I am a HUGE Patriots fan and I love cheering for Tom Brady and Bill Belichick every Sunday during football season.
What advice would you give to NYS students or to a student who would like to audition for NYS?
Know that we are rooting for you to succeed! Auditioning can be a scary process and sometimes people will rush through the process because they are nervous. Remember to take the time to get comfortable and it is perfectly ok to ask for anything you might need. Your success is our success!