(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Sixteen-year-old Jonathon Voga has been playing the euphonium since he was in fifth grade.
He spends at least two hours a day practicing at St. Joseph Christian, where he is an active member of the band.
Now it seems all his hard work has paid off.
Voga was one of 120 students worldwide selected for the 2018 High School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall in New York City. More than 1,800 high schoolers applied to be in the ensemble.
"I was pretty happy," said Voga. "It's really a once in a lifetime kind of thing."
Participation in one of the five Honors Ensembles is limited to the highest-rated high school performers. Voga was not the first SJSC student invited to play, but SJCS Superintendent Dr. Jason Tindol said they are still very impressed.
"Jonathon is very, you know. He's gifted. But when you have a gift, you have to be able to practice that gift. And Jonathon has done what it takes," Dr. Tindol said.
Perhaps the most excited for Voga is his band director Joe Voga, who also happens to be his father.
"It was pretty exciting. He's had some great accomplishments in the past I didn't know if he was going to be able to pull this one off, but, yeah. I'm a pretty proud dad," he said.
Jonathon Voga is known around school for his talent, mainly because he practices in the band room, bathroom, and locker rooms during his breaks. Recently he's been given access to the bus garage outside so that he would be less of a distraction for students in classrooms.
"We keep having to move him as our school has grown and we put our classrooms in different spots," Dr. Tindol said. "He's kind of a distraction. But it's a good distraction so we don't mind that too much."
Voga said he has never been to New York City and is excited for the experience.
The performance will be in February.