Alberta girl takes the stage at Carnegie Hall

17-year-old from Gibbons beat out thousands of other candidates

Choir group in Carnegie Hall.
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They say you haven’t made it until you’ve performed at Carnegie Hall. Alberta singer Anna Kalisvaart can now say, ‘Been there, done that.’

The 17-year-old farm girl from Gibbons got a once-in-a-lifetime chance to stand on the stage of the famous New York City concert hall last month after being selected for a unique program for high school choirs.

“We were super thrilled,” said her dad, Michael Kalisvaart. “She received a very high-level experience to encourage her to continue to pursue some more opportunities in her choral career.”

In most cases, high school singers are nominated by their teachers or choir directors for the WorldStrides Heritage Performance Program at Carnegie Hall, but Anna’s voice was “picked out of the choir” by program officials and they offered her a chance to audition.

But at first, she was “dismissive” of the opportunity because she didn’t feel she was good enough, said Michael.

“We really had to encourage her to audition,” he said.

Being accepted into the program was a “real confidence booster” for Anna, who has been taking voice lessons for four years through Community Music Initiatives, a program aimed at bringing music lessons to rural residents in the Edmonton area. In the end, Anna beat out thousands of other singers to gain one of roughly 200 coveted spots in the three-day program, which was capped off with a performance at the hall.

“These are the sort of opportunities you have to seize — those memorable experiences and opportunities that you don’t necessarily get that often in one life,” said her proud dad.

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About the author


Jennifer Blair

Jennifer Blair is a Red Deer-based reporter with a post-secondary education in professional writing and nearly 10 years of experience in corporate communications, policy development, and journalism. She's spent half of her career telling stories about an industry she loves for an audience she admires--the farmers who work every day to build a better agriculture industry in Alberta.



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