- Associated Press - Saturday, June 25, 2016

MANITOWOC, Wis. (AP) - To say Nylene Zabel was shocked when she was selected to sing with the Honors Junior Choir at Carnegie Hall in New York would be mild. Running around in circles and screaming with joy would be a better description.

The 14-year-old Manitowoc girl will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to share her vocal talent at the 2016 Middle School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall in New York City on June 25. The series showcases the most talented middle school performers from around the world.

She said she is thrilled to be going and even though she’ll be in NYC for a whole week, sightseeing and attending a Broadway show, she is mostly looking forward to singing with the Honors Junior Choir.

“Just to sing in a world-renowned hall and to work with a professional conductor will be the best part,” Zabel told the Herald Times Reporter (http://htrne.ws/263MEHp ).

Zabel, a student at Wilson Junior High School, will perform with 45 other students from the United States and Canada as a first soprano. They will sing a whole collection of songs, some of which will be in other languages including Israeli, Spanish and Swahili.

Her mother Lydia and younger brother Ian will spend the week in New York with Nylene, but will be removed from her daily schedule of practicing with the other chorus members. Nylene is expecting to have three-hour practices twice per day in the lead up to the June 25 performance.

Zabel was nominated to audition for the series by her orchestra teacher Monica Hrudik, and she had the opportunity to submit both violin and vocal recordings. Since being selected from thousands of applicants, Zabel has been working with chorus teacher Michelle Kanzelberger and David Bowman to prepare for the show.

The Zabel family was overjoyed and a little surprised that Nylene would be singing instead of playing the violin. Nylene has only been actively studying music for the last two years as a member of the Silver Lake Children’s Choir and the Wilson Junior High School Choir. She also participated in the Lakeshore Chorale. She’s never had any private lessons.

Zabel’s mom Lydia said she is very proud of her daughter’s hard work and dedication to music.

“She is a hard worker, and this is a rare opportunity,” Lydia said. “We know of so many talented students in this area; we are humbled she is going.”

Nylene is also a member of the Sheboygan Area Youth Symphony and was recently selected to perform with the Middle Level Honors State Music Project through the Wisconsin School Music Association. She has been playing piano since age 3 and violin since third grade.

No matter her busy musical schedule, because Zabel considers herself as just another person who casually sings to the radio.

“It’s fun to make notes just by thinking,” Zabel said of singing. “Where violin and piano, you have to search for the specified note on the strings and keys.”

Nylene is not the only musically capable member of her family, as her 11-year-old brother is also a singer, cellist and violinist. Lydia, their mom, says she doesn’t know where they get their talent, because she does not play any instruments.

Screaming with joy over her acceptance into the program is one thing, but joy of music in general is what gives Nylene the determination to keep with her practice.

“My children work hard on their music, but I want them to enjoy it,” Lydia said. “I can already see Nylene enjoying it more with all of the good things happening in her musical life. It’s a great payback.”

What is the major theme of music Nylene will be singing at Carnegie Hall?

Joy.

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Information from: HTR Media, http://www.htrnews.com

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