North High band member taking talents to Carnegie Hall

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- A local student is taking her musical talents across the country to a world-famous music hall.

Michaela Rongholt, senior at North High school in Eau Claire, has studied music for seven years and is a member of the North High School band program. She auditioned for the honors performance series earlier this year and was recently accepted.

Soon she will join other student performers from all across the world for the 2020 High School Honors Performance Series at the world-famous Carnegie Hall in New York.

She will join performers from students from 47 United States, Guam, several provinces of Canada, Bermuda, China, Hong Kong, Mexico, Qatar, and South Korea for the performance.

“I'm going to be on stage and I'm going to be playing in an orchestra, that was just mind-blowing to me,” said Rongholt.

She said there were more than 1,000 kids who auditioned for this ensemble. This was Rongholt’s third year auditioning, and she was finally selected.

“I'm really honored to have one of my own students go,” said Scott Hensiak, North High band teacher. “A lot of it is testament to her hard work and the work of her private teachers as well.”

Rongholt said her family has been supportive. She considers her mom her personal cheerleader on her music journey.

“Don't ever think it's too late to start learning an instrument or pick up your instrument again,” said Rongholt. “There's always opportunities and it's just the best thing ever.”

The finalists will come together in New York City for five days in February. They will have the opportunity to learn from world-renowned conductors, work with other finalists, and get a taste of New York City.

Rongholt said there is another student, Kaden Klein, from Oregon High School in Dane County, who was also selected.