Runnels High student will perform at Carnegie Hall

Runnels High student will perform at Carnegie Hall

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - "If you want to get to Carnegie Hall," the old saying goes, "practice, practice, practice."

Rachel Yura has been practicing her heavenly sounds for the last six years. All that work has earned the 15-year-old harpist a spot in the 2015 High School Honors Performance Series at, you guessed it, Carnegie Hall.

Yura was nominated last year by her harp instructor. After submitting a video audition and waiting for a seemingly endless selection process, she learned of the honor during history class.

"My stomach did, like, a double flip, and I started crying." the Runnels High sophomore says. "That would be amazing to play Carnegie. Now that it's here, it's very overwhelming. Like, wow! But it's true, Practice, practice, practice. That's how you do it."

Yura says she fell in love with the sound of the harp when she was just a child. "The harp has something that always seemed very angelic and intriguing to me."

And angelic is just one word you might use to describe the sounds her instrument makes as Yura runs her fingers across the strings. She's been studying the harp for the last six years in a small classroom at Runnels – the only school in the country where students can receive high school credit for studying the harp.

Harp teacher Gabriela Werreis's classes boast 19 students this year. Yura is the first to receive such high honors and she says it's just a start for Yura. "She's a great harpist now. You can imagine she will be better, better, and better. There is no limit."

Yura travels to New York City for her performance Feb. 22. After that, she says she wants to study the angelic sounds in college and then one day, maybe, a solo performance at Carnegie. Heaven only knows.

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