Perry freshman appears at Carnegie Hall

Amelia Sewing

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Perry-Lecompton High School freshman Amelia Sewing performs a song from the animated film “Anastasia” at Carnegie Hall as part of the American Protege competition.


by Carolyn Kaberline
While it takes many performers a lifetime to make it to Carnegie Hall, Perry-Lecompton High School freshman Amelia Sewing has already been there and performed on its stage. So just how does a student from Jefferson County, Kansas, make it to Carnegie Hall?
“My teacher [Etta Fung] and I thought it was time to compete in a competition, so we just browsed the Internet for some competitions, and we stumbled upon this one,” Sewing said.
That competition was the prestigious American Proteges’ competition, where some of the best young instrumental and vocal performers from around the world come together.
“My family and I left for New York on the 23rd of December and then the performance was on the 26th,” Sewing said. “Myself and many others sent in recordings of two songs, then the judges chose a first, second and third. First and second got to sing at Carnegie Hall. First place got a scholarship. I got second.”
Despite her second-place finish, Sewing, who competed in the Broadway/Musical Theatre/Jazz category of the Junior Division for those 11 to 14 years of age, listed performing at Carnegie Hall as “amazing.” She explained that her mother had told her of Carnegie Hall in the past, so getting to see it in person was exciting.
Sewing, who performed a song from the animated film “Anastasia,” said her performance of the number had only one drawback.
“We were told to come dressed for our performance,” she explained. Since much of the film about the last surviving member of the Russian royal family takes place in the winter, she dressed warmly for her presentation. However “it was 70 degrees in New York City that day.”
In addition to her performance at Carnegie Hall, Sewing also had time for sightseeing.
“My mom, dad and sister were with me,” she said. “It was my first time to [go to] New York. Our flight from D.C. to New York was delayed on the 23rd. So when we got there we only had time for dinner. But the day after we did lots and lots of sightseeing. On Christmas we went to brunch at the Waldorf and saw the Rockettes. I loved everything about New York.”
While Sewing is not sure whether she will try to compete in the American Proteges’ program this year, she does plan to continue her musical studies. “I am hoping to work in the music realm and just continue to better myself every day.”
Sewing, who has been taking voice lessons from Fung, a graduate student at KU, is currently looking for a new teacher as Fung recently moved to Texas “for work reasons.”
PLHS vocal music teacher Alayna Powell, who has also worked with Sewing on solos for school competition and concerts, notes that Sewing has been taking lessons from Fung through Skype since her move.
“Amelia has worked on solos since she was in seventh grade,” Powell said. “She has sung in several languages, including English, Italian and German. The first song she took to competition (in eighth grade) was a German piece called ‘Schneeglockchen.’ ”
Most recently, Sewing played Mrs. Brill in the fall PLHS production of “Mary Poppins,” which she described as “really cool because she is a lead in the musical.” Sewing was also in the chorus for “Carmen” at the Lawrence Opera Center.
“As a freshman, Amelia is already very advanced as a singer and performer,” Powell said. “She is learning the foundation of good vocal technique and practices music theory and ear training that will help her become an independent musician. I think she has a lot of potential for the next three years of high school and after she graduates.”
In addition to her music activities, Sewing also competed in debate in the fall and was on the PLHS tennis team. She plans to compete in the long distance races in track.
Sewing is the daughter of Dustin and Madeline Sewing, Perry.

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Posted by on Feb 18 2016. Filed under The Vindicator. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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