South HS Students Shine on Famous Stages

Two Valley Stream South High School musicians shone during their recent opportunities to perform before large audiences in renowned venues. Sophomore William Bertiz and senior Brianna Fernandez were each offered unique experiences based on their talent and determination.

For the second consecutive year, William was invited to perform a solo at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall based on an audition recording he submitted through the American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition, in which he was named an Honorable Mention winner. He played Impromptus Op.90 by Franz Schubert on Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015.

A pianist for approximately 10 years, William has also participated in the New York State School Music Association events and played the violin in the past as well.
Brianna, a vocalist and chorus member since the eighth-grade, sang the National Anthem at the Knicks basketball game held at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 3, 2015. She was selected for this opportunity based on her success in the Garden of Dreams Foundation’s Talent Show, in which she participated at Radio City Music Hall last June.

Brianna lost her father, a New York Police Department member and 9/11 first responder, last year. She was nominated for the talent show by the Detectives’ Endowment Association, which helps the famlies of deceased police offers. At her Radio City debut, Brianna sang a stunning rendition of Sam Smith’s "Latch." Impressed by her performance, the Foundation contacted Brianna and asked her to sing at their second annual "Garden of Dreams Week,” which included the Knicks game opening.

“It was incredible,” Brianna said. “A dream come true.”