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Teen violinist from Shreveport savors Carnegie Hall performance opportunity

Kate Archer Kent

A 16-year-old violinist from Caddo Magnet High School in Shreveport played Carnegie Hall on Super Bowl Sunday as part of the High School Honors Performance Series.

Johnum Palado was one of 750 select instrumentalists and vocalists from around the world. Palado picked up the violin at the urging of his second-grade teacher at Apollo Elementary in Bossier City. Now, he says, playing in New York’s legendary concert venue makes him inspired to pursue a career in music.

“When we played our first few notes for a sound check, you could hear the sound reverberating throughout the entire hall. It’s such a beautiful experience. It’s fun because you get to hear yourself at the same time, but you get to actually savor the music,” Palado said, reflecting on the 90-minute concert performed Feb. 7.

The Honors Performance Series receives 18,000 nominations, according to its website. Applicants also submit two audition pieces. Palado says the schedule included six-hour rehearsals for two days leading up to the performance in a packed Carnegie Hall. He’s still learning how to subdue his performance jitters.

“My teacher would say, Oh, Johnum, don’t be so nervous. You’ll be fine. You’ve been doing this for a long time. But, I feel like it’s a matter of overcoming that fear at times and making sure I play with such fervor and excitement,” Palado said.

Palado says composer and conductor Kirt Mosier was engaged and energetic. He instilled this mantra in the musicians: Rush now, pay later.

Two vocalists from Caddo Magnet High were selected to perform in the concert choir portion of the program. 

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.