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Junior Isabella Ghanbari Selected to Perform at Carnegie Hall

Junior Isabella Ghanbari was just one of approximately 200 high school students chosen to perform at Carnegie Hall as a part of the Honors Performance Series last month. The selected musicians rehearsed and performed under master conductors and had the opportunity to meet other like-minded musicians from around the world.

As a member of the JSerra Chamber Choir, Ghanbari was no stranger to sight read sheet music and learning new material. To apply for the prestigious opportunity, she quickly learned an Italian opera and sent in an audio recording of her performance of the aria, "Amarilli, mia Bella."

Two months later, she found out she was accepted to the most competitive group of the program: the concert choir. An estimated 12,000-13,000 students applied but just 200 were selected. (The other groups that make up the Honors Performance Series are honors band, honors string, orchestra symphony, concert choir, and women's choir.)

Upon arrival in New York City, Ghanbari went directly into three days of rehearsals, eight hours a day. She and her colleagues had been sent six pieces to learn and memorize prior to the trip so that they would be ready to work with Andre J. Thomas, an American composer and conductor with over 30 years of high excellence college choir competition.

"It was an amazing experience," said Ghanbari. "I got to meet people from across the world and it was really cool to work with Mr. Thomas. His level of profession was inspiring and I learned how to work with people I'd never met."

Ghanbari plans to keep up with the piano and singing ("maybe acapella or in a club") when she goes to college, where she will major in Global Communications and International Relations. For now, she is happy to continue being a part of the Chamber Choir, singing at the weekly all-school Mass, and playing Varsity Girls Water Polo.