Imagine being one of 300 students, out of 12,000 international applicants, selected to perform at the Sydney Opera House. For two talented Chaminade students, Kristin McGinnis ’20 and Nicholas Amenta-Shin ’20, that dream became a reality. Both were accepted as finalists in the High School Honors Performance Series at Sydney Opera House. McGinnis and Amenta-Shin were nominated at the beginning of the school year by chorus teacher, Danielle Duckett. “I thought it would be a tremendous opportunity and decided to nominate two of my students who are both part of the Concert Choir leadership team,” says Duckett. “They were emailed shortly after with an invitation to apply which included a resume and an audition to be submitted – they needed to select an Italian aria. I coached them through pronunciation, expression and the music, and they both came in to record, which they both ultimately submitted. From there, it was a waiting game.”
“To be accepted is a dream in itself!” says McGinnis, “I honestly wasn’t expecting to get in, but on Halloween, when I got an email saying that I’ve been accepted, as cliché as it is, I felt like the world around me stopped for a second.” The High School Honors Performance Series is an honor reserved for elite high school musicians to perform at one of the world’s most recognized and revered performance institutions, the Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House. Selected finalists will spend six days in Sydney, where they will study under master conductors, experience the highlights of the “Harbour City,” and get to know accomplished musicians from around the world.
“I had to learn an Italian aria which was difficult – as I’ve never sung in Italian,” says Amenta-Shin. “The whole process was very rewarding for me as I was introduced to something I’ve never done before, and being accepted into the program allows me to become part of something that will remain with me for the rest of my life.”