PERRY, Ga. — Two Perry students are gearing up to perform at a national historic landmark in New York City. What started as a teacher believing in one of her students turned into a massive opportunity for a rising ninth grader.
"Well, this opportunity actually came from her teacher from Perry Middle, Mrs. Christy Hursey. She thought she would be a good candidate. She did some of the recordings and sent it to the program," said Raphael Manuel.
Rachel Manuel and Samantha Williams were both selected from an application pool of rising 9th to 12th grade students worldwide. Now, they’ll perform at New York City’s historic Carnegie Hall.
Manuel will hit the stage in June to play the bass clarinet.
"It gives me this validation of what I'm doing is the right thing to do and that I am actually good at this," explained Rachel.
Music is important to Rachel Manuel's family. Her two brothers also play instruments.
"I think it was most important to my dad. Music was always a big deal to him, and I think slowly as we grew up, we wanted to become a part of that, too, because it was always something in our childhood. I think all of us just kind of started loving music on our own," said Rachel.
Though she is talented enough to perform at Carnegie, she still predicts the nerves may get to her.
"I am beyond nervous because I get nervous playing in front of the Perry Middle audience in the gym, so it's like… no way is that going to compare to being in Carnegie Hall up on that stage,'" said Rachel.
The Honor Performance Series selected the two students. The other student, Samantha Williams, plays the oboe.