OAKLAND -- An ocean voyage from New York to London became the impetus for one of Manhattan's greatest treasures -- Carnegie Hall. Thanks to a young composer, Walter Damrosch, sharing his vision of a concert hall with newlyweds Andrew Carnegie and Louise Whitfield, the legendary Carnegie Hall came to fruition in New York City in 1891.
Now, some 127 years later, that hall not only showcases a plethora of distinguished, world-class performers, it also encourages rising, young artists to pursue their dreams through its Honors Performance Series.
On June 28, Oakland's Marissa Petty will take her place as one of those young artists.
The eighth-grade student at Oakland School for the Arts (OSA) will join other young musicians from around the country as part of Carnegie Hall's 2014 Middle School Honors Performance Series.
"It's pretty exciting and a little intimidating to think of stepping on that stage," Petty said. "My parents and younger brother and sister plus other family members are also going to New York to support me."
Established to showcase accomplished individual high school and middle school performers on an international level, the Honors Performance Series offers these talented young musicians the opportunity to study under renowned master conductors and, of course, perform in historic Carnegie Hall.
In addition to family members and the general public, representatives from collegiate and professional music programs will also attend the June performance.
Auditioning for and being selected to be a part of the Honors Performance Series would make any musician proud, but for Petty it's particularly special.
"I only started taking violin lessons five years ago," she explained. "But I always thought it looked like a really cool instrument and when I tried it, I just really liked playing and knew I wanted to make music a part of my life."
Although she is relatively new to the violin, Petty lost no time immersing herself in her instrument.
In addition to studying music at OSA, she also studies with Suzuki-trained teacher Robin Revelli and is a member of Holy Names University Preparatory Music Department.
In March 2014, Petty received Division 1 Superior awards for both her solo and ensemble performances at the Holy Names Preparatory Music Festival.
For more information on the Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall, go to www.honorsperformance.org.