From Arizona to New York, one Valley student is singing her way to a big opportunity in the Big Apple.
Alicia Werner says opera is her passion. Her vocal coach used that drive to hone Alicia's talent and create an opportunity few students get.
"One of the first things I noticed was her tone of voice, and her color, and how she presented herself," said coach Nina Garguila.
She said Werner is a standout among her peers and thought she would be a strong contender for the prestigious Metropolitan Opera Guild program in New York.
The application process was intense, according to Garguila.
"Even before you apply they require you have two videos of different arias so it wasn't just picking a random song you find out of nowhere," she said.
Vocalists from around the world try to get into the MET program, but this year only 10 did.
Werner was one of them.
Mom and dad, Melissa and Leo Werner, couldn't be more proud.
"When we started this process we thought well this is a good opportunity and she should audition and kind of get used to that process. I don't know that we anticipated that she would really be selected, but when she was we were thrilled, we were beyond thrilled," said Melissa Werner.
They said Alicia would often be singing upstairs and in her room but it wasn't until a summer music camp at NAU that they realized their daughter had something truly special.
"She started to sing and I think shocked both of us when we heard this big voice come out of this little person. At that moment we realized this is more of a passion than we realized at first."
The Werners also realize this opportunity is something many kids could only dream about.
"The idea that we have had this chance to give Alicia this experience that will take her beyond school, beyond Arizona, to New York is exciting. We hope for that for any student pursuing music."
She'll head to New York next month.
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