Plainfield North High School senior Emmy Hensley will walk across the stage Saturday, May 19, 2018 to get her high school diploma, then take another stage Sunday, May 20, 2018 to conduct the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra (CYSO).
The concert is at 7:30 p.m. Sunday in Symphony Center, Orchestra Hall in Chicago.
Hensley will be the first student to conduct the orchestra under Doug and Sharon Carroll Conducting Fellowship. She has been playing bassoon for seven years. She plays at PNHS and with the CYSO.
She will conduct Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story Overture.” The 18-year-old earned the conducting spot after a rigorous application and audition process. She has been training weekly with the CYSO conductor Allen Tinkham for her debut.
“I’m excited,” Hensley said about the opportunity. “I thought I’d be way more nervous. I’ve had a few rehearsals conducting the orchestra but once I got up there it was OK.”
She has enjoyed learning about the orchestra from a different perspective, Hensley said.
Hensley will attend Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Oberlin, Ohio where she will study bassoon performance. She plans to become a professional orchestra bassoonist.