Sixth-grader Robby Hargrove performed at Carnegie Hall this February as part of the Crescendo International Music Competition. It was the first time on stage at Carnegie for Robby, who has been taking weekly lessons on the violin for the past five years with his teacher Nelli Jabotinsky.

“I felt very nervous,” he recalled, “my hands were sweaty and I could almost feel all those eyes looking at me. Fortunately, I only saw the first row, and because I was so focused on playing my music, I didn’t see all the people watching me.” Robby chose to play Concerto No. 1 in A minor by Jean-Baptiste Accolay for his performance.

The Crescendo International Music Competition, a youth music competition that is open to all instrumentalists, vocalists, duets, and ensembles ages 5-22, has been held annually since 2007 to inspire individuals to pursue their passion for music through various educational programs and competitions.

The competition takes place in two rounds—audition and performance. The auditions for a chance to play at Carnegie Hall took place in various establishments throughout the USA, Canada, Europe, and Asia from November 2019 to February 2020.

Robby, who is used to auditioning from trying out annually for a seat with the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, received first place in this first round of the Crescendo competition. That win qualified him to perform at Carnegie Hall, where students must perform from memory one selection from Baroque, Classical, Romantic, or Modern works.

“I would love to do it again since I had so much fun,” he said. Robby played the clarinet for two years while a lower-school student at DCD, but now in middle school, where students must choose from among 40 or more arts electives, he is learning to play the ukulele. He also enjoys playing with the Chamber Ensemble. “I am willing to try anything musical at DCD if it is fun and interesting,” he said.