Sixteen-year-old Allison Schultz can’t forget stepping onto the stage that day in June. The house lights were on, but the only people inside the auditorium were her and the First Baptist Dallas Celebration Choir and Orchestra.
“It was amazing,” Schultz said. “Nobody was there, so it’s just you on the stage.”
On June 8, Schultz and the rest of the group performed at Carnegie Hall with acclaimed vocal soloist Sandi Patty.
For the Highland Park High School junior, being able to play violin on the illustrious stage was an experience beyond words. While spending five days in New York City was a memorable experience, her time at famous venue was the climax of the trip.
Even the several hours spent in rehearsals on the day of the concert were special to the young musician.
“We got there, and noon was our call time, and the performance didn’t start until 8 p.m.,” Schultz said. “So all that day, we were basically locked inside Carnegie Hall, rehearsing.”
The program consisted of 21 pieces with different accompanying soloists, including Patty.
While she didn’t let her academics suffer, Schultz put much of her free time into preparations. She attended weekly sectionals and additional rehearsals leading up to the trip. To Schultz, the concert was a testament to all the hard work she and the orchestra put into it.
“[My friends] knew just how many sectionals I was putting in,” Schultz said, “and when I had group projects, I would have to work it around my rehearsal schedules.”
The event also was a family affair, as her father, Chris Schultz, shared the stage as a tenor in the choir.
“We’re a bit of a musical family,” Chris said. “So when she was old enough we put a violin in her hands. It was a real blessing because we’re on stage every Sunday together.”
Allison has been playing the violin since she was 4 years old. For the past 12 years, she has spent countless hours in rehearsals, private lessons, and performances. Along with the First Baptist Dallas orchestra, she is a member of the HPHS honors orchestra.
Despite living in University Park, the Schultzes have been attending First Baptist Dallas since 2010, when they moved to the Park Cities from Phoenix.
In August 2014, Schultz decided she would see if her musical abilities were enough to earn her a spot in the orchestra she had seen play each Sunday for the past four years.
“Before I auditioned, I went during an entire rehearsal with them, and it kind of just hit me how hard their music was and how fast they’re learning it,” Schultz said. “There’s definitely been a learning curve.”
As the junior looks ahead, with college quickly approaching, she says that music will definitely be a part of her future.
“I’m always going to continue playing,” Schultz said, “and probably in a church setting.”