Meet the local teenager who will be singing at the world famous Opera House in Sydney.
Courtney Cox (19) from Portstewart is currently living and studying in Sydney during her gap year.
Courtney, a past pupil of Loreto College, plays piano and trumpet, and also has a ALCM Diploma in classical singing.
She is in the Australian city studying worship music at Hillsong International Leadership College with Hillsong Church.
In December, Courtney who has just been accepted as a member of the Symphony Choir, will perform on the world famous stage in a Christmas concert.
Courtney took an interest in music at the tender age of seven, first playing the trumpet and then the piano.
But it was her church worship leader, Julie Armstrong who got the her involved in singing. She tells: “Julie asked if I would like to take some vocal lessons with her. I decided to go for it. This was in my lower sixth year at school. In that year, I completed my Grade 7 and Grade 8 exams with the London College of Music. Then, in upper sixth, I achieved my ALCM Diploma in Classical Singing with the London College of Music
Courtney went on: “When I moved to Sydney, I really missed singing classical music, so I decided to find out where I could get involved with a choir.
“I found out about the Sydney Philharmonic Symphony Choir and decided to audition. “As the home choir for the Opera House, I didn’t think I would have ben successful, but I ended up being accepted. I couldn’t believe it.
“They then asked me to sing in the VOX Youth Chamber Choir, but they rehearsed on Wednesday evenings and due to commitments with College, I was unable to attend the rehearsals.
“I was then invited to sing in Symphony Choir which I was able to do, and was ecstatic about.
“We began rehearsals last week for our Christmas performances.
“We will be performing Handel’s Messiah in the Opera House on the 3rd, 5th and 6th of December.
“The concert on the 6th will be streamed live online, so it will be amazing that my friends and family back home can watch.
“I feel so blessed to be able to be a part of such a prestigious choir and get the amazing opportunity to sing in the Sydney Opera House.”