Meridian teen plays her way to Carnegie Hall

Alex Mostar was told in the sixth grade she couldn’t play the oboe. Teachers told her the instrument was too tough to learn.

“I wanted to prove people wrong,” said the Mountain View High School senior.

She has no regrets and feels accomplished today. Alex will play the oboe at the world-famous Carnegie Hall in New York City and the Sydney Opera House next year.

“I didn’t let the challenge push me away,” Alex said. “I stuck it out and pushed myself to learn.”

Earlier this year, Alex took third place in the Idaho Music Educators Association State Solar and Ensemble Competition. She was then invited to auditioned for the 2018 International High School Honors Performance Series, which includes four choirs, a band, a symphony orchestra and a string ensemble. The group of teens are considered the highest-rated performers from around the world.

“I was shocked to even get a nomination,” she said.

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Alex was accepted into the International High School Honors Performance Series after a review by the honors selection board. She is one of 750 musicians selected from 18,000 applications. Acceptance to the elite group is decided by the applicant’s achievements and audition recording.

“I feel so accomplished because I never thought I would get this far,” Alex said. “It hasn’t been easy.”

She will join other performers from across the United States, Guam, Canada and other countries for a special performance at Carnegie Hall in February and the Sydney Opera House in July.

Alex focused her high school career on becoming a near-perfect oboe performer. She practices 10 hours a week, takes private lessons and works part-time at a frozen yogurt shop to pay for those lessons.

“She has made a lot of sacrifices,” said Vanessa Dean, Alex’s mother. “Everything has been worth it and it’s great to see her shine.”

She is a member of the concert, marching and symphonic band at school. She is also part of the Boise Philharmonic Youth Orchestra — the most advanced group of students performing in Idaho.

“Alex made an impression on me from the start,” said Jennifer Drake, the music director of the Boise Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. “She is musically attentive and skilled.”

Alex owns a 4.0 grade-point average and plans to attend the University of Utah or University of Oregon. She would like to study biology and minor in music. Alex wants to work in the medical field.

“I love music, but I want to live a comfortable lifestyle in the future,” she said.

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