NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Performing at Carnegie Hall is a special honor for musicians of any age.
Thursday night, more than 300 young musicians will hit the high notes when they play on the prestigious stage.
As CBS2's Cindy Hsu reported, Spike Lee says it all in his short film about New York.
"New York is where everyone knows how to get to Carnegie Hall," the director says. "Practice, practice and more practice."
For the young musicians from InterSchool Orchestras of New York, or ISO, serious practice led them to the big stage. The group is made up of talented students as young as six years old. But even for the older students in high school, the news of playing at Carnegie Hall was a big surprise.
"I was in shock. I just couldn't believe it," one girl told Hsu.
"My heart will be racing, I will tell you that," a boy added. "In a good way."
When asked whether she had any jitters, Evelyn Vidal said, "Yeah, a lot."
But from the dress rehearsal, there's no need for jitters, Hsu reported. The big concert celebrates the 45th year for ISO, which started with just 20 children in 1972. Today, there are nearly 350 students in the after school program.
Conductor Tito Munoz will be among the honorees Thursday night and remembers the hard work he put in when he was in ISO as a kid.
"It is quite a commitment to give up homework time after school, and you're not getting home until 8 or 9-o-clock," he said.
But all you have to do is listen to hear the payoff.
So what does the future hold for these students?
"I want to be a professional musician. I want to play in an orchestra," one boy said.
"I want to continue with music, but I want to become a doctor," Vidal said
The students agree -- whether they go into music, medicine or anything else -- their experience with ISO will help them succeed.
Students interested in ISO must audition and be able to read music. Once they make it, they perform all over -- from Carnegie Hall to community centers -- and bring music to more than 8,000 people every year.
for more features.