Cranston kid takes Carnegie Hall RI teen accepted to prestigious music program

Cranston kid takes Carnegie Hall: RI teen accepted to prestigious music program


EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Each year, Carnegie Hall brings together young musicians from across the country to form the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America. This year, only one Rhode Islander made the cut.


Liam DeRosa is a junior at Cranston High School East. He is also a talented musician who will be playing the viola in the National Youth Orchestra this summer.

“My first instrument was actually piano at age six,” Liam said. “And then I discovered I had perfect pitch.”

The 17-year-old said he soon learned to play the violin and the viola. “At age 10, I picked up a viola for the first time, and it just clicked in a way that violin never did,” Liam explained.

When he’s not in school, Liam stays busy, training with professors at Brown University and playing with the Rhode Island Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.

A teenager with dark hair and black framed glasses closes his eyes as he plays the viola. He is wearing a blue shirt and standing in front of a green and white wall.
Liam DeRosa plays the viola at the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and Music School in East Providence. (Andrew Paskowski/WPRI-TV)

David Beauchesne, the executive director of the Rhode Island Philharmonic and its music school, says Liam has always been a curious and talented kid.

“You just, you hear it in his playing,” Beauchesne said. “He’s a musician. He’s not on automatic pilot just ticking off boxes. There’s a really interesting, engaged, intelligent musical mind at work.”

It took Liam three tries to successfully get into the summer program. He was shocked when he got the email sharing his acceptance.

“I couldn’t believe what I was reading, honestly, because it really is a prestigious program,” he said. “Everyone talks about it as like, the ‘Ivy League’ of summer orchestra or summer festivals.”

Liam and the rest of the National Youth Orchestra will be going on tour in South America this summer and performing at Carnegie Hall on Aug. 5.

“I’m probably not going to be able to sleep that night,” Liam said. “I’m probably going to have so much adrenaline going on stage.”