Ozarks Life: Area teen invited to perform at Carnegie Hall

Gabriella Wise has been accepted into the Honors Performance Series.
Published: Apr. 21, 2023 at 5:22 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - At St. Joseph’s Academy in Springfield, just follow the notes and they will lead you to Gabriella Wise singing in the school gym.

“I love to sing because it’s like a happy place for me,” Gabriella said. “And it makes other people happy. And I love making other people happy.”

Gabriella has been in her happy place since the age of three, singing in show choirs, and performing in eight productions for Springfield Little Theater.

But this summer, her happy place is getting a lot larger.

“I’m going to Carnegie Hall,” Gabriella said with a smile.

She has been accepted into the Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall. It features the highest-rated, young performers from around the world. More than 10,000 teens applied for a spot. Gabriella is one of about 200 to make the junior high ensemble.

“Just follow your dreams,” Gabriella said. “Whatever it might be because it will lead you somewhere; if you follow your dreams and passions.”

“It’s so exciting that she took this opportunity and applied and auditioned,” choir director, Alicia Lyons said. “Very few kids take that initiative and then get to go to New York City.”

Alicia Lyons won’t be going to Carnegie Hall, but as the head of the Girls Choir of Springfield, a part of her will be there. She has spent many hours with Gabriella, supporting the soprano’s dream.

“I would not be where I am without Miss Alicia Lyons,” Gabriella said.

“I would say I am very thankful to be surrounded by great students like Gabriella that are willing to work hard and go the extra mile,” Lyons said, “and to be able to make themselves the best musician and person that they can be.”

And Lyons is no stranger to success. She’s also the choir teacher at Logan-Rogersville, and her Wildcats are ready for a busy spring.

“This year, we have 44 kids that are going to state which is awesome considering that’s almost how many we had in the whole high school program when I started,” Lyons joked. “And state competitions are very competitive. So they’ve worked really hard. I really can’t take too much credit - they put a lot of effort in.”

And Gabriella has some advice for anyone who thinks, they might not be good enough to make a state competition or even be on stage one day at Carnegie Hall.

“Keep singing, wherever it is, just keep singing,” Gabriella said. “If it’s in your car, if it’s in a choir, it’s working your voice.”

Gabriella will be performing at Carnegie Hall from June 14 thru 18. Before that, she’s in Moana, Jr. at the Springfield Little Theater starting next weekend.

To learn more about the Girls Choir of Springfield, click here. You can also email girlschoirofspringfield@gmail.com for more information.

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