MHS senior Danica Fanning achieved something few ever do…she performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City on February 10, 2013.
For Danica, the entire episode is a dream that came true. She was one of 252 vocalists, from freshmen to seniors in high school from the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and Asia, who gave a performance at the supreme place to perform–Carnegie Hall.
Danica left South Dakota February 7, along with her parents, Chris and Leah Fanning, siblings Macee and Levi, grandparents, and a friend. They arrived at LaGuardia Airport in New York City, where rain began as soon as they landed.
“It soon turned to snow, but in the city, the streets were well-maintained,” says Danica. Although the East Coast was bombarded with snow, it didn’t phase someone used to South Dakota blizzards.
“We checked in with our chaperone, Kari from Missouri,” says Danica. “There were 14 in our group. Rehearsals began Friday.”
Rehearsals were held from 9 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 5 p.m. both Friday and Saturday. But there was some down time.
Friday, Danica says there was time for shopping, as well as time to attend the Broadway play, “Wicked,” a retelling of the witches of “The Wizard of Oz.” Turns out the “wicked witch” wasn’t all that wicked.
On Saturday, Danica and her family visited Times Square and also went to The Top of the Rock in Rockefeller Center. On the 69th floor, one could look out over much of the city.
“We never did see Carnegie Hall until the performance,” Danica relates.
On Sunday after another rehearsal, there was time to visit Ground Zero, where they discovered one of the victims of 9-11 was firefighter John Joseph Fanning, although Danica does not know if there is any relation ship.
“It brought what happened that day to life,” says Danica. She was impressed by the “Survivor Tree,” which withstood the terrorist attack.
They also went to the Statue of Liberty. “I saw it from the deck, but I had to get back to prepare for the performance. My mom and dad took a boat out that went closer to the statue.”
The performance began at 8 p.m., and Danica says the bottom floor and first tiers were filled. Many attending were friends and parents. No photos were allowed during the actual performance.
In addition to the choir, performances were also given by band and orchestra members. The event took 3 ½ hours.
“It was an amazing experience,” Danica says. In addition to her original “cheer section” were her aunt and uncle, Rosemary and Lester Moeller of St. Lawrence, and SuAnne Meyer, Miller.
“SuAnne came separately and visited a friend, as well as attended the performance. She has given me so much help with music along the way.”
On Monday, it was back to South Dakota, after a windy landing in Chicago. But the memories remain, and as Danica says, it was a “chance in a lifetime,” and one not to be forgotten.
She was one of five from South Dakota, and her roommate was from Rapid City. Others were from Sioux Falls, Newell and Spearfish.
“I met a lot of cool people from so many places,” Danica says. “We’ve been keeping in touch on Facebook.”
Because she is a senior, Danica says the opportunity was her “first and only.” But now she is busy with more musical performances on a local level, as well as all the preparations that go with high school graduation.
As for the future…Danica says she has been encouraged to complete a CD, once school is out.
Her direction hasn’t changed, however. “I want to be a music teacher–elementary, middle school, high school. That’s my goal.”
Still, those once-in-a-lifetime memories are precious.
“I’d really love to go back. I love New York City.”
AN UNFORGETTABLE MOMENT…the day of the performance, February 10, Danica Fanning was ready to walk through the door of Carnegie Hall for the first time.