Amara Wilson, Caitlin Van Loan, and Edward Donahue, Class of 2019 graduates from Catskill High School, have been selected for the 2019 High School Honors Performance Series at Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia. They performed this August with the Honors Mixed Chorus. Participation in this Honors Ensemble is limited to the highest-rated high school performers from across the world.
During the summer of 2018, Wilson, Van Loan, and Donahue auditioned for the Honors Performance Series and were accepted after a review by the Honors Selection Board. Acceptance to the elite group is a direct result of the talent, dedication, and achievements demonstrated in their application and audition recording. These students will join other performers from 46 U.S. states, Guam, several provinces of Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Qatar, and South Korea for a special performance at the world-famous Sydney Opera House, a venue that marks the pinnacle of musical achievement.
According to Nancy Richardson, Program Director, “Being selected to the Honors Performance Series is something each Finalist should be extremely proud of accomplishing. We processed more than 18,000 nominations this year and have selected nearly 300 of the most talented student performers from around the world. Working with these conductors and performing at Sydney Opera House is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that these musicians never forget.”
Edward, Caitlin, and Amara all began their music studies in fourth grade beginning with chorus. Throughout the years, they have expanded their exposure to music. All three students, under the direction of Michelle Storrs, participated in Concert Chorus in high school. In addition, Caitlin and Amara performed with the Treblaires, under the direction of Michelle Storrs. Each of the finalists performed at Carnegie Hall with the Honors Performance Series. Edward performed in February of 2016, Caitlin in February of 2017, and Amara in February of 2018. All finalists have participated locally in the Greene County Music Educators Association All-County Festivals. Caitlin and Edward have performed in the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Zone 9 Area All-State. Additionally, Edward has participated in the NYSSMA All-State festival, the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) All-Eastern festival, and the NAfME All-National festival.
The finalists came together in Sydney for six days at the end of July and in early August. They had the opportunity to learn from world-renowned conductors, work with other Finalists, and get a taste of Sydney. The Honors Performance took place Sunday, August 4, and was open to the public. Tickets could be purchased through the Sydney Opera House box office.
The Honors Performance Series was created to showcase accomplished individual high school performers on an international level by allowing them to study under master conductors and perform in world-renowned venues. It is proudly presented by WorldStrides, the nation’s leading educational travel organization. Learn more by visiting www.honorsperformance.org and www.worldstrides.com.