A Sacred Heart student headed to Carnegie Hall gave a special performance in Salina Sunday.
The journey began nearly a year ago with the opportunity to audition and perform in one of the most famous venues in the world. By the end of 2013, Shayla Martin, a senior at Sacred Heart High School in Salina, had been selected to participate in the 2014 International High School Honors Choir Performance Series Concert to be conducted in February at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
On Sunday, Martin performed a special concert in the Chapel at the former Marymount College, where she sang classical, musical theatre and praise and worship excerpts. No admission was required to attend the special event, but a love offering was accepted to help off-set trip expenses.
Martin thanked her family and friends, as well as the Sacred Heart faculty and students in attendance. Appreciation was also shown for Sacred Heart music teacher Michelle Dolan, accompanying pianist Judy Weber, Martin’s private instructor Leslie Mangrum, as well as the Marrs family for their generosity in the use of the chapel for the performance.
One of the songs Martin sang, Ave Maria, was dedicated to her grandmother. She said, “I’ve heard that my Grandma Martin used to sing in here when she was the professor of nursing at the former college. I also remember her beautiful voice and how she would Cantor at Mass when I was a little girl and how I was going to do that when I got older.” Martin Cantored her first Mass when she was nine years old and her grandmother was in the choir behind her.
Prior to the performance on Sunday, Martin thought she might be nervous, but said, “It was all-natural. I didn’t miss a thing.”
Martin was chosen to perform in the prestigious event as one of only 240 selected from over 9000 applicants. Her mother, Selinda, said, “Now, it’s right back to work.” One of the songs the group will perform was written by a Russian composer and will be sung in that language.
After the performance, Martin’s father, Pat, who is also the head boys basketball coach at Sacred Heart said, “Now you see why I’ll be missing a game.” The Knights play at home against Minneapolis on February 7.
The Martin family will depart for New York City on February 6 and the performance will take place on February 9. The trip includes a tour of New York City, including the Statue of Liberty, attending a Broadway show, and touring Central Park.