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‘Music by Sophie’ to hit the world stage
Fundraiser set for Dec. 10 at Driver Opera House to send DHS junior to NYC, Sydney
Sophie Wiegel, a Darlington High School junior, was accepted into the Honors Performance Series, an internationally renowned organization that brings top young musicians together to perform at some of the world’s most cherished stages.

DARLINGTON — Sophie Wiegel gets to live out two dreams of most musicians: She’ll soon get to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City, and the Sydney Opera House in Australia.

“Coming from a small town, a lot of people I’ve talked to about it are super excited for me,” said Wiegel, a junior at Darlington High School.

She’ll be traveling and performing with the Honors Performance Series in the choir. 

According to its website,, the HPS was established to feature talented young musicians on stage at Carnegie Hall, one of the world’s most famous music halls. Thousands of artists audition, but few are accepted.

The HPS is not just for choir, either, but for bands and orchestras. Other venues where HPS musicians perform include the Royal Festival Hall at Southbank Centre in London, and the Musikverein in Vienna, Austria.

“I’m really excited to work with some world-renowned conductors,” Wiegel said.

Wiegel and the other choir performers will spend several days in New York City in February rehearsing, while also being able to take out some time to get immersed in the country’s largest city. Next summer, in 2023, they will then travel to Australia.

“It’s not just practice and then perform, we’ll get to go see a show on Broadway and go sightseeing around the city, too,” Wiegel said.

She said music has played a large role in her life so far.

“It’s always been a part of my life. My dad did musicals, and I followed in his footsteps,” Sophie said. Tina Schliem has been her piano teacher since first grade, and Sophie said she started acting at a young age. She does band and choir at DHS.

She was nominated to audition for the Honors Performance Series by her former music teacher, Alaina Markham. Wiegel auditioned this past summer, and in November she found out the good news that she was accepted.

This Saturday, Dec. 10, she’ll be holding a fundraiser from 6-9 p.m. at the Driver Opera House in Darlington to raise money for the trips. She’ll be performing some of her favorite songs from gigs she plays under the alias “Music by Sophie”. There will be live auctioned items and a 50/50 raffle.

Wiegel performs live in the area on her own, singing and playing the ukulele and keyboard. Her favorite song to play on the ukulele is “Free Fallin’” by Tom Petty, while her favorite song to perform on keyboard is Adele’s version of “Make You Feel My Love”.

She said she plans to attend college after graduating from DHS next year, and hopes music stays a part of her life — but that she doesn’t expect to do it for a career.