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Heading to Carnegie Hall: Miller teen to be part of elite honors choir for Feb. 10 concert

Posted: Monday, Feb 4th, 2013

Danica Fanning, 17, of Miller is shown singing. On Thursday, Fanning will travel to New York City to sing as a member of an elite honors choir in the American High School Honors Performance Series. The performance will be in Carnegie Hall on Sunday Feb. 10 at 8 p.m. EST. Fanning is the daughter of Chris and Leah Fanning of Miller and the granddaughter of Marcus and Lana Moeller of Wolsey. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

A 17-year-old singer from Miller will very soon be performing in one of the nation’s most prestigious concert venues, Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Danica Fanning will be singing as a member of an elite honors choir in the American High School Honors Performance Series on Sunday, Feb. 10, at 8 p.m. EST in front of New York concert-going patrons and collegiate music program representatives. She is the daughter of Chris and Leah Fanning of Miller, and the granddaughter of Marcus and Lana Moeller of Wolsey.

Fanning is making history as the first student from Miller to ever make it to the American High School Honors Choir. She will leave for New York on Thursday and will return Monday, Feb. 11. The Honors Choir has 250 members from all over North America. Highlights of the five-day program include practicing and performing with the Honors Choir and Honors Instrumental Ensembles under the direction of several world-renown conductors, participating in a music seminar featuring an industry professional and experiencing New York by seeing a Broadway Show, getting a guided sightseeing tour and attending a nationally televised morning show.

She has achieved this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with a combination of hard work and determination. From her participation in South Dakota All-State Chorus, she received a letter from the American High School Honors Association. The letter basically said due to her participation in All-State Chorus, she could audition for the honors choir. She had to submit a teacher recommendation, an application with her musical biography and an audition recording. Her application was reviewed by a board of music professionals, and she was accepted into the honors choir on Oct. 31.

For her audition, Fanning sang Habanera, from the opera Carmen. All of the lyrics in the song are French.

“My music teacher, Mrs. Wieseler, helped me so much through the process,” said Fanning. “And so did my accompanist, Suanne Meyer. Without them, I would never have made it this far.”

Music teacher Erica Wieseler says that Fanning is one of the most dedicated singers that she’s had the pleasure of teaching. “Danica is a delight to have in class,” said Wieseler. “She has always been very devout about music and always wanted to do her best.”

Wieseler remembers the day she found out that Fanning had made it into the American Honors Choir. “I was ecstatic for her, and I was in tears. This is something no student from Miller has ever done; she is the first.”

Wieseler says she knows Fanning will be a great inspiration to her students. “With the knowledge and hard work she’s put in, and her passion, I know she is going to be an excellent music teacher,” she said.

Fanning says singing in Carnegie Hall will be the most amazing thing she has ever done. As it turns out, the talented young woman is very modest about her other achievements, which include singing the national anthem for U.S. Senator John Thune at the age of 11. “That was such an honor,” she said.

Her parents recognized her natural ability to perform and encouraged her to sing at a young age. “I sang my first church solo at the age of 4,” said Fanning. “Ever since then, I decided I really liked it.” Through the years she has sung at church, vocal music contests, plays, All-State Chorus, talent shows and weddings. She also performs the national anthem at local sports events.

She sings in a total of eight languages. “I can sing in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Hebrew, Latin and some African dialects,” she said. Besides her vocal abilities, she plays piano in the jazz band and trumpet in the concert band at Miller High School.

As a junior, Fanning is set to graduate next year and has been thinking about her future career. “First I wanted to be an engineer,” she said. “But I also wanted to somehow do music as well. Then, I was looking into becoming a radiology tech. Finally, this year, I came to the decision that I really want to be an elementary music teacher.”

Fanning plans to attend Northern State University in Aberdeen and major in elementary music education. “I’ve always had music in the back of my mind, and it has always been a huge part of my life. I know now that it’s the right decision. I want to do something that I love, and this is it.”

Fanning says the act of singing gives her pure joy and peace in her heart. “When I sing it’s not about me, it’s about praising God,” she said. “I do it for Him.”

For the complete article see the 02-03-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 02-03-2013 paper.

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