Once in a Lifetime Opportunity

The High School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall was established to showcase some of the most talented student performers in high school today. Through an individual nomination and selection process, accomplished students are brought together in New York City with peers to comprise the Honors Choir and Honors Instrumental Ensembles. St. Mary’s Dominican High School Senior Paige McGaha was selected as a finalist for the 2016 High Schools Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall. In February she performed with the Honors Women’s Choir.

A Once in a Lifetime Opportunity

By Paige McGaha, ‘16

My experience singing with the Honors Performance Series in Carnegie Hall was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Each of us came from different musical experiences and backgrounds. While I was with a group of girls I had never met before, we became great friends, and all of us bonded over our love of music while singing under our clinician, Dr. Elizabeth Schaur. Dr. Schaur selected six songs that were all vastly different from each other. She taught us about each style’s history and culture. This truly helped the choir gain appreciation and understanding of the songs.

It was challenging to sing songs so vastly different from each other, but by depending on each other’s different strengths, we were successful in creating the desired sound. Through this unique experience, I learned a new appreciation for the many different voices that make up a choir. Every voice brought something different, but each combined to form the beautiful music we had worked hard to prepare.

When we finally sang in Carnegie Hall, it was bittersweet because even though we were finally doing what we came together to do, it meant that we would have to go our separate ways once more. My experience with the Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall was exhilarating and one of the biggest highlights of my senior year of high school.


Dominican Senior Paige McGaha at the High School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall.


Paige McGaha (back row, far right) with fellow Honors Women’s Choir members at Carnegie Hall.