Freshman Academy student to play Sydney Opera House

Published 12:51 am Wednesday, March 8, 2017

By Christian Coffman

The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ — One Natchez Freshman Academy student will join musicians from across the world in July to take the stage at the Sydney Opera House.

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Violinist Darren Smith has been selected to perform with the Series Orchestra at the opera house in Australia on July 10.

Smith applied for a spot in the orchestra and submitted a taped recording of his music. He and other students from around the world will work with master conductors.

While an international performance might intimidate some students, Smith said he is not worried.

“I was anxious to try to get a part in it, because once I heard about it, I wanted to be a part of it. I’m glad that I got it,” Smith said.

The Sydney performance will not be Smith’s first on the stage of a prestigious music venue, however. Smith played last year with the Middle School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall, his first time playing in a full orchestra.

In addition to attending a strings class at school, Smith also has a private tutor who works with him once a week.

Smith said his tutor as well as his strings teacher, Dennis Leoni, have been positive influences on him.

While garnering music accolades at a young age, Smith said he is considering a career in the medical field, following in the footsteps of his parents.

Smith’s mother, Delphine Brent, is a X-ray technician. His father, George Smith, is a nurse.

For now, Smith said he looks forward to the opportunity to perform at the Sydney Opera House.

“It’s going to be a different experience, different area … different everything in genereal,” Smith said. “But it’ll be nice to see something new because it’s bad to be in once spot all of your life.”