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Local student accepted to sing at Carnegie: seeks community support

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POLSON — On Friday, Sept. 29, Polson High School junior Bethany Butler received notification that she has been accepted to sing at Carnegie Hall. She will be the first Polson student to ever do so. 

Joining an elite group of 300 students chosen from applicants in the United States, Canada and Guam, Bethany will spend five days in New York City with the High School Honors Performance Series by World Strides. Finalists will work with master conductors rehearsing and performing at Carnegie Hall. Bethany said, “It’s been my dream since I was six years old because of the multiple people that have performed on it and the history of Carnegie.”

Anonymously nominated, Bethany’s audition tape of the Italian opera piece entitled, “O cessate di Pragiaami” secured her invitation to become a member of this year’s finalists. With an eclectic appreciation for a wide variety of music genres, she enjoys singing not only opera but country, pop and some rock and roll as well. Inspired namely by her father, she also appreciates the musical talents of Bob Seager and Broadway icon Sutton Foster along with musical composers John Williams and 17th century Alessandro Scarlatti. 

Participating in choir since elementary school along with performing from a young age with the Port Polson Players, she said with a big smile and an abundance of confidence, she plans to make a career singing on stage, on Broadway, or for film. “I want to broaden my horizons and do more with music. I want to do more with my voice (and gain) more musical expertise.”

It turns out the apple doesn’t land far from the tree in this family. When relaying the news of this opportunity, her grandfather explained that Bethany’s great-grandmother, a Sicilian Italian immigrant with a three-octave range, also sang at Carnegie Hall. 

She and her younger brother, one of her biggest fans, have posted information about her “Go Fund Me” account in the hopes her home community will financially support her once in a lifetime opportunity. 

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