Grace Nelson poses for a picture in front of the McKnight Center at Oklahoma State University.

Barbara Bush Middle School choir director Grace Nelson performed with the New York Philharmonic during a Gala Concert on Sept. 23, 2022, at the McKnight Center for the Performing Arts at Oklahoma State University.

The New York Philharmonic is one of the most well-known American orchestras. At the Gala Concert, more than 100 student and community voices joined the musicians onstage for the grand finale of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.

“It was amazing,” Nelson said. “Definitely a once in a lifetime experience.”

This isn’t Nelson’s first time to perform with a prominent organization. She has sung professionally in many choruses across the DFW metroplex including the Orpheus Chamber singers and has toured internationally with choirs under the direction of American composer and conductor Z. Randall Stroope in England, France, and Italy.

“I had the opportunity to sing solo in the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican and St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice,” she said. “This past summer, I toured with the same choir across the Baltic states including Sweden, Estonia, and Finland.”

Nelson holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Oklahoma State University and a master’s degree in vocal performance from the University of North Texas. She joined CFBISD this year.

“This is my first year in CFBISD and I’ve been so excited to join the Bronco team at Barbara Bush Middle school,” she said. “The students are full of energy and potential. This is my sixth year teaching choir, and I look forward to many more to come.”