Great Neck South high schooler Fiona Lyngstad-Hughes was selected as one of 10 finalists in the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York (MYO) concerto and vocal competition. Lyngstad-Hughes, who has been singing for as long as she can remember, will be performing her competition piece at the Congregational Church of Huntington for a chance to win a first-place cash prize of $500 in the vocal category.
“I’ve been singing all my life because my dad’s a music teacher and my mom loves music, so I always grew up singing with music around me,” said Lyngstad-Hughes. “I got more serious in middle school when I started doing NYSSMA (New York State School Music Association) and I started doing the musicals at my schools and auditioning for solos in my choir at school.”
Lyngstad-Hughes joined MYO in the sixth grade as part of the treble choir. As she grew older, she became part of the concert choir in the seventh and eighth grade, and the symphonic choir in both ninth and tenth grade.
“I really love it and I stuck with it,” said Lyngstad-Hughes. “I’m really dedicated to it. I like the inclusive environment it is. I really like how you sing in front of everyone and everyone claps for each other and we encourage each other to do well, and we all share the same passion for music.”
Along with participating in the competition, Lyngstad-Hughes is very involved in her school’s musicals, plays and operas. She is playing the lead in Great Neck South’s Giannis Schicchi opera as Loretta and singing the most well-known aria, “O Mio Babbino Caro.” Lyngstad-Hughes has learned how to play the piano and the ukulele. To complement her musical talents, she takes dance and ballet lessons.
“Music is such a focal passion in her life and she works so hard, but in her spare time she’ll record songs to put on YouTube, so I know how much joy music brings to her,” said Lyngstad-Hughes’s mom, Karin. “I’m so proud of her, so whatever happens with the competition, I’m just really proud of her. I’m really excited.”
Lyngstad-Hughes is performing “Sorry Her Lot” from HMS Pinafore by Gilbert and Sullivan, a piece she received a high score on while performing at NYSSMA, for esteemed judges Director of Choral Studies at Hofstra University Dr. David Fryling, Director of Orchestra and String Studies at LIU Post Professor Maureen Hynes and North Merrick School music teacher Peggy Rakas for a chance to win the $500 first-place award, second-place cash prize of $200 or the $100 third-place cash award.
“Music’s my life and I would love to keep doing it,” said Lyngstad-Hughes. “[Since] my dad’s a music teacher, maybe I’ll follow in his footsteps.”
For more information about the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, an organization committed to fostering a community of talented young musicians from Long Island, visit www.myo.org or call 516-365-6961. The concert, which is free and open to the public, will take place on Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. in the Congregational Church of Huntington, located at 30 Washington Dr. in Centerport.