Local High School Student Selected to Perform at Sydney Opera House

Grace Neal, a student at Berean Academy, grand-daughter of Randy and Judy Mills of Florence, was selected for the 2018 High School Honors Performance Series at Sydney Opera House. In July, she performed with her clarinet in July with the Honors Band Ensemble. Participation in one of the two Honors Ensembles is limited to the highest-rated high school performers from across the world.

Earlier this year, Neal auditioned for the Honors Performance Series and was 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 her application and audition recording.

Neal joined other performers from 43 United States, the District of Columbia, Guam, Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Qatar, and South Korea for a special performance at 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 250 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”.

Grace has studied music for 8 years and is a member of the Berean Academy Band and many ensemble groups. She has also been selected to play in the District and State Band for the past two years.

In response to her selection as a Finalist, Grace said, “Performing at the Sydney Opera House with students from around the world was an experience I will never forget. Before I was accepted for this honor, I could not imagine traveling to Australia, let alone have the opportunity to study and play at the world renown Opera House.”

Finalists came together in Sydney for six days in July. They had the opportunity to learn from world-renowned conductors, work with other Finalists, and got a taste of Sydney.

The Honors Performance took place Saturday, July 21.

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.

The Honors Performance Series is proudly presented by WorldStrides, the nation’s leading educational travel organization. Learn more by visiting www.honorsperformance.org and www.worldstrides.com.

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