By Joseph Goodwin
Eagle Staff Writer
Over time, intense heat and constant pressure will transform a lump of coal into a diamond that will shine brilliantly bright for eternity, and Tulsa north has yet again produced another fine diamond.
Cascia Hall sophomore Travis Guillory, along with classmates Camryn Hurley and Joseph Barbour, spent four days taking a bite out of the Big Apple, leading up to their performance in the bright lights of New York City, as part of Carnegie Halls’ Honors Program.
Selected from an applicant pool of over 12,000 candidates, these three aspiring vocalists, along with approximately six other Oklahomans, joined 700 fellow high school students, spanning the globe, at the famed musical hall.
Travis stated, “Since my eighth grade year, this has been my goal, to audition and get accepted to Carnegie Hall’s Honors Program, by my tenth grade year.”
Lamar Guillory, Travis’ father, stated, “As a member of the New Jerusalem Baptist Church’s youth group Growing Young Men, Travis made a vision board, and performing at Carnegie was one of them.”
Travis credits his growth to those whose shoulders he stands atop, and spoke of how his journey began. He credits Solid Foundation Preparatory School instructors, “Jamye Broome and Alnetta Morris as the two teachers that inspired me, when I was young, and my audition was submitted this past July, were I recorded two five-minutes songs, one in English and the other in Italian.”
Ever since Cascia Hall Music Instructors Candy Coonfield and Cheray Smith began instructing the 2021 graduating class, Travis’ father has seen his son vocally transform from a boy to young man.
Carnegie Honors Program, in conjunction with the Sydney Opera House, annually host young voices from around the world, partnering these aspiring performers with mentors who have traversed the roads so many millions more will navigate.
Travis was assigned to Florida State University Choral Music Director Andre Thomas, whose original piece, Angus Dei, Travis was selected to do the “ad lib solo”, competing against 50 other hopefuls for the spotlight honor.
Travis indicated the practice was intense, working for three days straight, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., demonstrating how much one has to be committed to the profession. “What I gained from this experience was singing is my passion, and now something I want to do as a career choice,” he said.
Not taken aback by the lure of Broadway, Travis said walking through Time Square, “was a great experience, because I caught a glimpse of the pace.” Adding his time with others was helpful, “everyone was supportive of each other. I mean there was no bashing!” This was evident, as Travis said, “of course when you are walking around with fellow singers, you are gonna break out and sing.”
And as countless movie scenes can attest, Travis and his fellow participants could not resist their own testament to history in the city that never sleeps. Travis added, he prays this experience will continue, as he plans to audition for the Australian program in 2020.