For Nicolo Bautista music is something that runs through his veins. His father is both a doctor and a composer, his entire family plays piano and his sister is an All State Chorus member and a triple threat musician. Music is a family affair.
Nicolo's own musical talent recently landed him a place as a tenor in the Honors Choir, which will perform at Carnegie Hall in New York as part of the High School Honors Performance Series.
"I felt accomplished and honored to be able to perform at Carnegie Hall," Nicolo said. "I'm really excited to go to New York and perform with people from all over the world and just to see how other people sing and their talents."
For five days this February, Nicolo will perform with other musicians as part of the choir. During that time he will also have the chance to rehearse and perform under the direction of Dr. Lynne Gackle, professor of ensembles and associate director of choral activities at Baylor University.
"I'm excited to be able to perform and learn music under a really good conductor," Nicolo said. "I think it will probably teach me better techniques, to better my singing."
The 15-year-old Wyoming resident got involved in chorus in sixth grade when he joined the chorus at Holy Cross Middle School in Dover. He has been a member of the All State Chorus in both middle school and as a high school student at St. Mark's High School, in Wilmington, where he is now a sophomore.
After performing in All State Chorus last year, Nicolo received a letter inviting him to audition for the Honors Chorus. He submitted a musical resume and an audition tape, and on Oct. 31 he was informed he had made the cut.
Nicolo's musical talents stretch beyond his choral skills. He also plays piano, saxophone and violin. At St. Marks he is a member of the concert band, jazz band and the school string ensemble. It seems whenever he has a spare moment Nicolo puts it toward music, said Pauline DeAscanis, chair of the performing arts department at St. Mark's.
"When he first comes into class he goes straight to the piano and begins playing, even before he sits down to sing," DeAscanis said. "If he has a few minutes he spends them doing music. Other people will come in and chat with friends or do homework, but he's always doing music."
Nicolo is reserved and is not quick to boast about his talents or accomplishments, but those close to him are willing to pick up the slack.
"He has a very innate musical ability," DeAscanis said. "He has excellent sight and reading skills. He can pick up any piece of music that he hasn't seen and can do a wonderful job of playing it for the first time. He has a wonderful ear and sings in tune quickly."
Page 2 of 2 - On top of all of his musical gifts he's also an A student, said Basillio Bautista, Nicolo's father.
"We are very proud of him," Basillio said. "He's a very talented musician. We are proud of him because, as we understand it, he is the only one from St. Mark's that made it and also because there are so many applicants for that and he made it in."
When Nicolo talks about why he got involved in music there is no mention of a desire for fame or recognition. He joined chorus because he loves music, he said.
"I just wanted to join chorus," he said "I just wanted to be involved with music."