Former Fenton student Annie Hayes performs at Carnegie Hall

Dylan Dockins, Writer

When Annie Hayes left Fenton High last June and applied to Interlochen Arts Academy in Interlochen, Michigan, she never could have predicted that she and her Percussion Ensemble group would perform at Carnegie Hall in Manhattan, New York.

“A group asked us to play from Baldwin Wallace Conservatory in Ohio,” Hayes said. “They were already doing a concert at Carnegie and invited us to play with them.”

Being invited to perform at such a venue takes a certain set of skills, and many hours of practicing. Carnegie Hall is known for being one of the most prestigious facilities in the world and seats up to 2,800 people.

“Once I found out, I was thrilled,” Hayes said. “Since November, we’ve worked two hours as an ensemble every day. Most students would also individually practice the music as well.”

An important part of bringing out a performance is the message and meaning it holds to a performer. Often art reflects on many things, whether it be a story or social topics. Hayes’ sister and mom were both present for the performance.

“The concept of the performance was gun violence. It was mostly conveyed through the music itself,” senior Emily Hayes said. “The concert actually had dancers during one of the pieces, too. The dances were used to tell the stories and everything.”

Having the chance to perform in a space where many entertainment legends have been is a rare experience.

“The atmosphere was amazing,” Hayes said. “Everyone was excited and wanted to give the audience a moving performance, the hall produced a beautiful sound. To play where my heroes like Duke Ellington, Leonard Bernstein, and Count Basie have played was really exciting.”

Annie’s time at Fenton was very prominent within the arts wing. Focusing in percussion from Marching Band, Drumline, even being the percussionist for the Ambassadors.