Pitman High School senior Gracie Brogdon is making her mark as one of the top vocalists in the area, having recently been accepted into not one, not two, but three prestigious choir events. Now, she’s asking for the community’s help with what she calls a once in a lifetime opportunity.
A few weeks ago, Brogdon made the cut for the Central Region Honor Choir with the Resounding Achord’s Scholarship — an outstanding accomplishment in and of itself. On Wednesday evening, she also received acceptance emails from two separate national honor choir festivals; one at Carnegie Hall in New York, and another at Musikverein Wien Concert Hall in Vienna, Austria, both of which are hosted by the Honors Performance Series.
Brogdon has performed with the Central Region Honor Choir before, she said, and is looking forward to the opportunity to do so again. The honor choir gives students from around the state of California the chance to sing under the direction of nationally- and internationally-known conductors in Fresno next month; Brogdon will be under the direction of Dr. Jennifer Garrett from Bakersfield College.
Thanks to her scholarship, Brogdon doesn’t need to raise funds for her concert in Fresno. She does, however, need to raise $6,000 in order to travel to Carnegie Hall in late January and Musikverein Wien Concert Hall next summer.
“It would mean everything to me,” Brogdon said. “This would be the most once in a lifetime experience, which is why I wanted to audition for both. I had no idea I would get into both. Performing at Carnegie Hall and in Austria is an incredible experience many people don’t get.”
According to PHS Choir Director Yohan Partan, thousands of students from all over the country apply to be part of the Honors Performance Series. Only 300 to 450 students make it into the ensembles, and to make it into both is quite impressive.
Partan described Brogdon, his Pitman Choir president, as an excellent role model to all of her peers and someone Turlock can truly be proud of. She’s been singing “since she can remember,” she said, and first became involved with choir at her church as a child. Singing both at church and at school has exposed her to not only a variety of ages, but a variety of styles as well.
“All of the choirs I’ve been in have always been rewarding in some way,” Brogdon said.
Brogdon is a soprano and enjoys Renaissance-era choral works, she added. To audition for the Central Region Honor Choir, she sang for judges during an in-person audition at Stanislaus State and her ability to read music and memorize was tested. To be accepted into the Honors Performance Series concerts, judges simply watched a clip of Brogdon singing that she submitted via the internet.
That was all they needed to hear.
“I was a little shocked that I got accepted into both Honor Series Performance choirs,” Brogdon said. “So many people audition and only a few are selected from all over.”
Next year, Brogdon plans on attending Southern Utah University and majoring in Accounting while minoring in Childhood Development. Her goal is to take choir every semester, she said, and will continue to sing for the rest of her life.