Rachel Yura, a sophomore at Runnels High School, has been chosen to participate in the 2015 High School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall.
She will play the harp in the famous concert hall Feb. 22 in New York as a member of the Honors Orchestra and Concert Band, a news release from the school said. Approximately 10,000 students are nominated for the program each year, with 500 chosen to participate.
Yura is the third Runnels student selected for the Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall, the release said.
Rachel’s interest in playing the harp started when she was a fifth-grader at Runnels. The Runnels harp program had just been started by harp instructor Rebecca Todaro and Gladys Runnels, and Yura signed up for the first harp class. She has taken harp as part of her daily schedule at Runnels every year since then, for five years with Todaro and now with Runnels harp instructor Gabriela Werries.
In addition to taking daily harp classes at Runnels, Yura commutes to New Orleans for extra lessons with Todaro, who nominated her for the High School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall.
For her audition tape, Yura played Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” on her Salzedo Concert Grand pedal harp.
Yura is a harpist with the 2014-15 Louisiana Youth Orchestra and has performed with the Louisiana Junior Youth Orchestra. She also has played her harp at several charity and business events and a wedding.
The High School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall, which is open to students in ninth through 12th grades in the U.S., Canada and some international schools, brings together accomplished young musicians for several days of rehearsal under guest conductors in preparation for a performance in Carnegie Hall.
Though program participants are scheduled to spend much of their time in rehearsal, they also will see a Broadway show and visit some of the famous sights in New York City.
Yura is the daughter of Thomas and Brooke Yura.