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Ninth grader voices her dreams

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Scotland Bound

By Michel Northsea

She’s only a ninth grader, but Savannah Rose Skye Hirst-Ayers has plans for her life.

She wants to be an opera star. She wants to go to Scotland. She wants to take classes at the College of Central Florida at the same time she completes her high school career.

And after high school she wants to attend either Julliard Arts College or Carnegie Mellon University for soprano opera.

For now, she is taking honors class at West Port and is involved with the drama and musical programs at the school. She recently was on stage at West Port as Kahmila in the West Port production of the musical, “Hairspray.”

Playing the role of Kahmila and the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland in the Osceola Middle School production made her appreciate acting more than ever.

Her acting skills, and musical skills, have not got unnoticed. She, along with others in the drama program, earned the school an “excellent” rate during a recent district thespian festival for ensemble acting. Singing a duet with another student gave her a “superior- with honorable mention.”

When not at school, she enjoys kickboxing, Brazilian Jujitsu, cooking and drawing. She even teaches Sunday school.

Hirst, like 14 other of her classmates, is also working to raise money to go to Scotland.

West Port was one of 65 (out of 2,000 high schools nominated) selected to perform at the prestigious 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, in Scotland.

According to Janet Shelley, drama teacher, the expected cost for the two-week trip is $60,000. Students involved with the trip, parents of those students and staff at the school have worked to raise money by hosting fund-raising events and asking for donations.

Working with a company that specializes in student travel, Shelley said the group has raised enough money to pay all the required installments.

“Now those installments require larger sums of money - $14,000 instead of a couple thousand,” said Shelley.

Donations are appreciated for the August trip and may be mailed to West Port High School, Drama Department, 3733 S.W. 80th Ave., Ocala, Fl., 34481

Those people would make the list of people Hirst has that she’s grateful for. Her list includes those helping her achieve her dreams so far. That list includes Shelley, her chorus teacher Mrs. Atkinson, her vocal coach, Katie Tyre and her “wonderful parents.”

While it may seem that Hirst is on track for achieving her dreams as an opera star she has a fall back plan.

That plan would have her making wedding cakes. Alas, some of us may never see one of her cakes – she wants to make them for famous people.