Compton plays violin at Carnegie Hall as part of Honors Orchestra

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As a violin player in Woodward Academy’s orchestra, the Emory Youth Orchestra and pit orchestras for the Alliance Theatre’s “Into The Woods” (student musician) and “Hairspray” at Woodward, Peachtree City resident Kelly Compton gets plenty of practice. Practice and a passion for music led her to recently be a member of the Honors Orchestra in the 2012 American High School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall.

“It was amazing,” Compton said of her experience. “Life changing.”

Participation in the Honors Orchestra is limited to the highest rated high school performers from across North America and select international schools. The Honors Performance Series was created to showcase accomplished individual high school performers by allowing them to study under master conductors and perform in the celebrated venue, Carnegie Hall.

“Playing at Carnegie Hall is a symbol of success for a musician and it was on my bucket list, but I never imagined I would get to accomplish it,” Compton said.
The group rehearsed for a total of 13 hours between Friday and Saturday and performed a concert featuring Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite, Grover’s Corners from Copland’s Our Town and Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture. The members of the orchestra had to know the pieces very well before getting to New York City and they had to be ready to play.

It wasn’t all hard work though. The group took in a performance of “Wicked,” and Compton enjoyed meeting musicians from all over the country and world. Her stand partner in the concert was from Thailand.

“Two minutes before the end of the last piece it hit me that I was playing in Carnegie Hall,” Compton recalled, adding that she kept her composure until the group walked off stage.

Now that she has played there her goal isn’t to get back there.

“I would like to play as a violinist on the score for a movie,” Compton said.

She hasn’t decided where she will go to college in the fall, although she has been accepted to the University of Michigan, but she plans on majoring in both music and science.

She is looking forward to the rest of her senior year, even thought she had some work to make up because of her trip. It was certainly worth it.