Seventh-grader Averie Wilson has been selected for the 2017 Middle School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall June 22 through June 26 in New York City.
Wilson, 12, was tabbed as a first alto with the Honors Junior Choir. Participation in one of three honors ensembles is limited to the highest rated middle school performers from North America and select international schools, a news release said.
The Wilson & Young Medal of Honor Middle School student auditioned this fall for the series and was accepted after a review by the Honors Selection Board, the release said. Wilson will join other performers from 43 states, several Canadian provinces, Australia and Taiwan, the release said.
Averie said she decided to try out for the Honors Junior Choir because Wilson & Young Choir Director Erica Lane Garza told her it was a good opportunity and something Garza thought the youngster was ready for.
She said she has been singing in the choir for five years, but before that, she just liked singing around the house. She enjoys classical, country and pop music. She said she made all-region choir and earned a 1 in the Texas Solo-Ensemble Contest.
Junior finalists will meet for five days in New York City and have a chance to learn from Greg Gilpin, an award-winning composer and arranger and a respected choral conductor throughout the United States and internationally, his website said.
The June 25 performance is open to the public, the release said. Tickets may be purchased starting 60 days before the performance through the Carnegie Hall box office.
The Wilson family is raising money for Averie’s travel expenses. To sponsor her, one may visit gofundme.com and search for “Honors Choir at Carnegie Hall.”
Averie’s mother, Katie Wilson, is a fifth-grade teacher at Burnet Elementary School. She’s said she is proud and excited for Averie.
“She’s also turning 13 that week, so I think that will be definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for her to go there for her 13th birthday. That’s her birthday party,” Katie said.
She added that Averie always exceeds her expectations, whether it’s her grades, her behavior or her success.
“The last nine weeks, her lowest grade was a 92,” Katie said.
She added that she is looking forward to the trip. “I can’t imagine sending her to New York City without me,” Katie Wilson said. “… I think we’re going to stay a little bit afterwards, as far as her birthday. We’ll have to find that in the budget somewhere.”
Averie said she’s looking forward to visiting the Big Apple, but a little apprehensive.
“I’ve never been out of the state of Texas. I’m scared to even go on a plane,” she said.
Katie Wilson is married to Stacy Wilson. The Wilsons also have two sons, Dakota and Jay.
Averie’s grandmother Jennifer Stockton will be taking the trip to New York with Averie and Katie.
Garza, the Wilson & Young choir director, said she has been teaching Averie for two years.
“She’s a very hard worker and very dedicated to the choir program. If anybody’s deserving of this honor, it would be her. She loves to sing and she’s extremely talented, so I think it’s just going to be another step for her to build toward professionalism because I think that’s where she’s headed as a singer,” Garza said.
She added that Averie is a “lovely person” with a sweet, bubbly personality that adds to the choir. Averie is in the advanced girls’ choir with 31 members.
There are almost 150 students in the choir program as a whole. Garza said the program is expected to grow to close to 180 next year.