HMS singers invited to Carnegie Hall

Published 7:26 pm Friday, March 27, 2015


Three very happy and excited musicians from Hutto Middle School are left to right: Piper Loeffler, choral teacher Laura Bowen, and Karli Willis. — Carolyn Iamon

Two sixth grade girls at Hutto Middle School are very excited about the opportunity to participate in the Carnegie Hall Honors Performance Series in New York City in June.

Piper Loeffler has been fully accepted into the program as a junior finalist, while Karli Willis has been accepted as a runner-up, meaning if a junior finalist is unable to attend and space becomes available, she too will get to go.

HMS choral teacher, Laura Bowen, is equally excited about her two students, whom she describes as very dedicated to singing and music. “They both have a passion for music, learn quickly and are very deserving of this opportunity,” she added.

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Bowen said she had received a letter asking for nominations for the event and sent back paperwork on the two girls. The girls then had their own work to do. Each had to complete a lengthy application, including a performing biography, indicating their experience of singing with groups. They also had to write a small essay explaining what music meant to them and why they wanted this opportunity.

More importantly, each needed to submit a recording singing for three to five minutes.

Karli chose to sing “Simple Gifts” and “Ten Minutes Ago,” the latter from the currently popular Cinderella musical. Piper chose to sing two selections from “Sound of Music,” “My Favorite Things,” and “Edelweiss.”

According to Piper’s mother, she has been singing since she was two years old. She has studied both piano and voice with Stephanie Bryant and also with Gaye Herndon, choral director at First United Methodists Church. Piper has sung in both the children’s and youth choirs of that church, as well as the John Johnson Elementary School choir. Karli has sung in the Jones Wheat and Hutto school choirs and performed in a school-wide student talent contest, where Piper played the piano.

The winners will spend five days in New York, chaperoned by music educators from around the country, and work with Mr. Greg Gilpin, renowned choral composer and director to prepare for a concert at Carnegie Hall.

They will stay in a 5-star hotel, have a tour of the city and see a Broadway show.

They are among 100 students in the category of grades six through eight, chosen from candidates throughout the U.S., Canada and select international countries for this honor.