January 22, 2020


Rutherford County Schools


Sydney Callahan, Colby Davis, and Mara Watson, students at Riverdale High School, have been selected for the 202 High School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall.

They will perform on Feb. 2 with the National Honor Concert Choir. Participation in one of the five Honors Ensembles is limited to the highest-rated high school performers from across the world.

Sydney, Colby and Mara auditioned for the Honors Performance Series last summer and were recently accepted after a review by the Honors Selection Board. Acceptance to the elite group is a direct result of the talent, dedication, and achievements demonstrated in their application and audition recording.

All three of these talented students are members of the Riverdale Singers at Riverdale High School under the direction of Brenda Williams.

Sydney, a senior, spent most of her junior year working as a contestant on American Idol on ABC, and this year has achieved multiple honors in Musical Theatre. 

Colby, a sophomore was selected for Freshman Honor Choir last year, and All-County, Mid-State and All-State Honor Choirs this year.

Mara, a Sophomore, has also achieved honors in Freshman Honor Choir last year, and All-County Honor Choir this year.

“I’m beyond thrilled to have this opportunity," Sydney said. "Singing at Carnegie Hall has always been a dream of mine.”

Mara added: “I’m so excited and grateful to be selected for Carnegie Hall because I will be able to make new friends and learn from some amazing directors.”

Sydney, Colby and Mara will join performers from students from 47 United States, Guam, several provinces of Canada, Bermuda, China, Hong Kong, Mexico, Qatar, and South Korea for a special performance at the world-famous Carnegie Hall, a venue that marks the pinnacle of musical achievement.

The finalists will come together in New York City for five days at the end of January and early February. They will have the opportunity to learn from world-renowned conductors, work with other Finalists, and get a taste of New York City. Two performances, an Honors Choral Performance and an Honors Instrumental Performance, will take place Sunday, Feb. 2, and are open to the public. Tickets can be purchased beginning 60 days prior to the performance through the Carnegie Hall box office.

“Being selected to the Honors Performance Series is something each finalist should be extremely proud of accomplishing,” said Matt Castrina, vice president for the Honors Performance Series. “We processed more than 18,000 nominations this year and have selected over 600 of the most talented student performers from around the world. Working with these conductors and performing at Carnegie Hall is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that these musicians never forget.”

The Honors Performance Series was created to showcase accomplished individual high school performers on an international level by allowing them to study under master conductors and perform in the celebrated venue, Carnegie Hall. The Honors Performance Series is proudly presented by WorldStrides, the nation’s leading educational travel organization. Learn more by visiting and