Catherine Levy is the Ransom Everglades School Silver Knight nominee in the category of Music. Levy, a senior, says music has shaped her life, allowed her to travel and given her many exciting adventures. Those adventures began when she was in the fifth grade and joined the Miami Children’s Chorus.
“With the Miami Children’s Chorus, I traveled to South Africa, New York and Washington, D.C.,” she says. “And this summer we’re going to Italy.”
Levy auditioned for the Miami Children’s Chorus when she was in the fourth grade after receiving encouragement from one of her teachers. When she entered high school at Ransom Everglades, she joined the school chorus. Since then, she has achieved superior ratings in her competition performances and has been to All State during all four years of her high school career.
Levy plans to minor in music and will join some type of singing group while she is in college. Her academics are strong; she’s a National Hispanic Scholar and an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction, so she has had no problem with being accepted for admission to the colleges of her choice. In fact, she has heard positively from Norte Dame, the University of Miami, Florida and North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She plans to major in business.
Levy is getting good training this year in management as the president of Symphonettes, a community service organization. Last year, she chaired the group’s annual garage sale and participated in the Coral Gables Congregational Church community arts program. She also mentored children in music theory on Saturdays.
Levy joined Symphonettes as a sophomore and has been active ever since. As president she sets the calendar and directs both the monthly board meeting and the general membership meeting. The board is made up of 30 girls and there are 75 members overall.
“It’s challenging at times, but I make it work,” she says.
The club’s big fundraiser is the annual Fashion Show, which is set for April 7 at the Coral Gables Hyatt. This year Levy hopes the Fashion Show and luncheon will make generate than $20,000 in profits. That money is doled out to the arts community for programs such as the Miami Children’s Chorus, which funds tuition for 10 children.
“Personally, the reason I joined is because I started seeing all the underfunded arts programs,” Levy says. “Last year we donated $28,000 to nine different organizations.”
Symphonettes donated to a variety of organizations, a mix of old and new after they re-evaluated their donor list a year earlier.
“We added a few and took a few off,” Levy says. “It’s probably going to stay the same this year since we just finished evaluating.”
Along with raising money for arts programs, Symphonettes members also usher at events for the Miami Children’s Chorus, the Miami Children’s Theater, the UM Frost Music School and St. Martha’s Catholic Church.
“Everyone is required to do a certain amount of community service, such as ushering,” Levy says. “In the past, it’s something girls have gotten around. I recently passed a new rule that stipulates if you miss one or cancel one and you don’t find a replacement, you have to do an extra one. It was reflecting badly on the club.”
Levy is also a member of the National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta, the math honor society. She also earned community service hours working as a camp counselor at Ransom during the summer.
By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld