Fresno teen chosen for top music school in NYC

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Making music in Manhattan, it's the opportunity of a lifetime for a valley teenager. (KFSN)

Making music in Manhattan, it's the opportunity of a lifetime for a Valley teenager. Chloe Puertas is just one of only 120 musicians chosen from around the world to study in New York City.

To be in the program at Manhattan School of Music you have to be a standout and Puertas, 16, certainly is. She's taking a break from volunteering as a music teacher for the summer to learn from some of the best in the world.

She's learning, performing and fine tuning her talents along with teenagers from all over the world.

"It's an opportunity that a lot of people don't get to take advantage of," Puertas told Action News via Skype from New York City. "And to meet people like me and surround myself with other musicians, I feel like music is alive."

She's currently two weeks into her four week camp. "The school is amazing," she said. "It's everything I thought it would be and more."

Her parents say she's been a performer for most of her life. She even landed a leading role in last year's musical at San Joaquin Memorial High School.

"She might appear somewhat introverted if you were to speak to her or see her in school," said Chloe's mother, Betsy Puertas. "But when she gets on stage, she comes to life."

The evidence of her musical obsession is plastered on her bedroom wall. There are programs and tickets to some of her favorite musicals, along with keepsakes from shows she's stared in. And she's excited to be part of this prestigious program that lets her perform along with other talented teens.

"We're putting on an opera and we're putting on a musical," Chloe said.

Chloe's also a standout off-stage. She has a 4.2 grade point average and volunteers as a music teacher for kids at the Community for Arts and Technology in Fresno.

"There're just a lot of doors opening up in her mind, which is great, because it helps her and it helps us where to steer her in the future," said her father, Adolfo Puertas.

That steering, at least for now, is only toward music if Chloe has her way. "I just want to make music and make people happy and be content myself," she said.

The program doesn't come cheap. It's roughly $10,000 when you factor in spending money and flights. But Chloe's parents say she worked hard to fundraise and pay for part of it herself.



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