For about 11 years, music has been a constant in Hannah Fowler’s life.
The 14-year-old freshman at San Luis Obispo High has been part of the Central Coast Children’s Choir since she was 3 1/2, when her father got her involved on a whim.
“She was interested from the first day,” her dad, Tom Fowler, recalled this week.
Over the years, Hannah progressed from the Debut Choir to the Apprentice and Premier choirs and now sings as an alto with the advanced vocal ensemble, a subsection of the Concert Choir. She also started playing the piano about four years ago.
“I just found this click with music,” she said before practice started Tuesday. “When I’m singing with a group, I feel like I’m part of something big. I feel really complete — basically the same I’ve felt since I was young.”
Later this winter, Hannah’s love of music will take her and her family to Carnegie Hall, where she was selected to sing as part of the High School Honors Performance Series. She’ll travel to New York in February to work with master conductors, meet other finalists from around the world, get a taste of the Big Apple, and perform on Feb. 7 at Carnegie Hall as first alto with the Honors Women’s Choir.
Music makes me feel complete. It uses the part of me that makes me feel happy and that’s why I like it.
Hannah Fowler, 14, an alto with the Central Coast Children’s Choir’s advanced vocal ensemble
The series, established to showcase some of the most talented student performers in high school today, processed more than 18,000 nominations internationally and selected nearly 750 vocalists and instrumentalists from the U.S., Guam, Canada and a number of other countries, according to a news release from Program Director Morgan Smith.
Hannah said she was a little nervous about applying for the series. “I’m a freshman and I didn’t know what would happen,” she explained. “But apparently something good happened.”
Hannah said she hopes to learn more about music, discover more about her voice and meet new people from different cultures. “With each new director, they tell you something more about your singing.”
Beth Klemm, the Central Coast Children’s Choir artistic director and premiere choir director, said she expects Hannah’s trip to New York will further build her confidence as a vocalist. She saw Hannah grow after the children’s choir traveled last year to England to sing at the Canterbury and Southwark Cathedrals.
“Everyone bonded,” Hannah recalled. “I’ve been with this choir so long, it’s like my second family.”
Klemm, who has worked with the choir for 20 years, said she’s watched Hannah “develop into a thorough musician. She has the tools to walk into any environment and own it.”
The Central Coast Children’s Choir’s annual concert is set for Dec. 12 and Dec. 13 at 3 p.m. at United Methodist Church, 1515 Fredericks St. in San Luis Obispo. Tickets are $18 for premium seats, $12 for general admission seats and $10 for children under 12. For more information, go to http://centralcoastchildrenschoir.org/.