Abi Brown, front right, a rising freshman at Wylie East, was one of three French horn players selected from the U.S. to participate in the 2023 Middle School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall June 14-18. Courtesy of Heather Brown
A rising freshman at Wylie East High School had the musical opportunity of a lifetime, playing at a full Carnegie Hall.
Abi Brown said she went through several application steps, submitted an audio audition and put in several hours of practice for a concert held at the iconic music venue Saturday, June 17, as part of a five-day program hosted by the Honors Performance Series. After submitting all the application materials, Abi found out she would be third chair in the three-person French horn section, which included a solo.
“As a finalist I will be rehearsing and performing with master conductors and will meet like-minded musicians from around the world,” Abi said when she found out she would be making the trip to New York City.
She continued that she knew of only four Texas students to make the band, which was a surprise given the state’s rigorous musical education standards. In total, the orchestra represented students from India and 38 other states.
“There were a lot of people from California and Wisconsin,” Abi said. “The next closest person I knew was from Frisco. I thought it was going to be a lot of Texans.”
To become a finalist for the Carnegie Hall performance, Abi was required to submit an audio recording of audition music, submit written responses to why she was a good fit and her accomplishments as a musician and a letter of recommendation, which was authored by her private lesson instructor.
Abi said she found out about her acceptance in the company of her fellow bandmates at an after-school party.
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