Wellington High duo sings at Carnegie Hall

Courtesy photo
Wellington High School choir director Sherry Arcuri stands alongside seniors Gabby Dobbins and Seth Bates during this year’s High School Honors Performance Series concert held at Carnegie Hall in New York City.


For the third straight year, Wellington choir students have displayed their talents in New York City at the High School Honors Performance Series.

Gabby Dobbins and Seth Bates, both Wellington High School seniors, performed Feb. 10 at Carnegie Hall after being nominated for the trip by choir director Sherry Arcuri.

“It was amazing,” Dobbins said. “I loved being in New York. It was a whole other world and it was just awesome. It was crazy walking out on stage and it felt crazy knowing I was one of the ones selected to be there. The acoustics in the room were just amazing.”

Dobbins and Bates join Bryce Wylie and Becca Charlton as the only students in WHS history to be invited to perform at the concert.

Students from across the globe compete annually for spots in the series and the chance to sing in New York or Australia’s Sydney Opera House.

The scale of Carnegie Hall was overwhelming at times, Dobbins said.

“There were multiple layers to the theater and it was just so cool,” she said. “There were so many people there to see us and it felt really good. It felt good to know that people thought we were good enough to be out there.”

Other activities on the five-day trip included taking in a Broadway show, a boat tour around Manhattan, and a bird’s eye view of the city skyline from atop Rockefeller Center.

Both students were responsible for paying for their own travel, which meant raising roughly $3,000 in three months.

Dobbins’ aspirations include becoming a musical therapist, a profession which helps those rehabilitating from serious sickness or injury.

“What I did in Carnegie Hall is a little different than being a musical therapist,” she said. “But meeting new people and connecting with them because we have the same passion is kind of similar. I feel like that can be something that helps me down the line.”

“Each year, we get new people in our choir and they keep growing together with their music,” she said, explaining why the school choir’s members have seen national recognition. “It was just a matter of someone like Mrs. Arcuri nominating us to let our talent show through.”