Rhapsody in Columbia Blue

The New York Youth Symphony performing at Carnegie Hall
Chris Lee

The New York Youth Symphony, a program for musicians between the ages of twelve and twenty-two, won the 2023 Grammy Award for best orchestral performance, beating out heavy hitters like the Berlin Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Six alumni and current students from Columbia and Barnard — trumpet players Yael Cohen ’21CC and Matthew Sidler ’22CC, cellist Deborah Ro ’21BC, flutist Kelsey Chin ’22BC, violinist and Columbia College freshman Joshua Wang, and oboist and Barnard sophomore Emma Braunberger — performed on the winning album, which was recorded during the pandemic and features only music by Black women composers. “To receive such a lifetime achievement at this age is stunning,” said Chin, a SIPA student studying urban and social policy, in a recent interview. “We made history — we’re the youngest orchestra to win this award.”