MARLOW, Okla._A senior at Marlow High School is soaring up the musical scale and has earned an invitation to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
It's all part of the High School Honors Performance Series, in which 18,000 high school students nationwide were nominated, applied and auditioned to be part of it. Only 750 students were picked to perform. Kaylee Brooks is the first student from Marlow to get this honor.
Kaylee Brooks has been a part of Marlow High School's Marlow Entertainers since her freshman year. She has won several different vocal awards in choir competitions. On Saturday, she received news that to her, seemed like a fairy tale.
"I looked on my email and it said 'Congratulations, you made it.' And I was like 'yes!' Everyone was like 'what is she freaking out about,' and I was like 'I'm going to Carnegie Hall!' I was so excited," Brooks said.
Brooks was nominated by her choir director in May to hopefully land a spot in the High School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall.
"He said, 'How would you feel about singing at Carnegie Hall?' I was like 'What's that?' He said 'Let's look it up.' I saw it and I was like 'Oh wow! Yes, that sounds awesome,'" she said.
Hours of perfecting an Italian musical piece was spent. Brooks spent part of the summer break working with her choir director on voice technique and other vocal exercises.
"I was up here in June for a couple of weeks or even more and we just worked and worked and worked," she explained.
Brooks had to choose from a list of 25 songs to use for her audition; the song had to last for three minutes. Fortunately, one song on the list was a song she performed at a former competition.
"We just did so many recordings of it, we finally picked our favorite and best one and sent it off in early June," she said.
Then, it was a long five-month wait until she would find out if she made the cut.
"Every single day I was checking my email. It was never there and I was like 'Dang it.' It was definitely hard, it was nerve racking," she said.
Both Brooks and her choir director, Brent Logan, found out she made it on the same day. Logan couldn't be any more proud.
"She deserves this, she's earned this. It isn't just about what she deserves, but she's earned this she has put in a lot of time and effort," Logan said.
Logan says he hopes Brooks's achievement will spread a message to other students who have big dreams.
"It shows our students, not just my choir students but the students here at this school, that anything is possible. At this point in their life, the world is open to them and they can achieve anything," Logan said.
For Brooks, this really could be a dream come true.
"It makes me so happy. It's my senior year, my last shot at everything and I've worked so hard the last four years and it just feels like everything is coming together. It makes me so excited," Brooks said.