When 14-year-old Ting Perlis started singing lessons it was with the goal of helping her cope with the challenges of being on the autism spectrum. But now, her talent is taking her all the way to New York City's Carnegie Hall — if she can afford it.
When she began taking classes at Hummingbird Conservatory in Glendale, Ting was simply looking for an artistic outlet that could have therapeutic benefits.
“Like many people on the spectrum, day-to-day life can be a little bit more difficult than it is for others," her mother, Deborah Perlis, explained. "It’s overwhelming.”
But two years in, "she's an entirely different person," Deborah said. “Music didn’t open the world to her, it opened her up to the world.”
Ting's voice teacher, Tara Wallace, recognized her incredible gift and nominated her for this year's High School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall this February. The program gives gifted youth from across the globe the opportunity to perform alongside master conductors inside the storied venue.
“To be a 14-year-old chosen from a global selection of sopranos to sing at Carnegie Hall is really quite a mark,” Wallace told KTLA.
For her part, Ting said she's still feeling dazed by the news.
“I’m kind of still processing it, because it’s kind of hard to believe that I got selected,” she said.
But there remains one more hurdle for her to clear: Raising the money for her and her mom to make the trip to New York City.
Even so, Deborah said, the opportunity itself means everything.
“(People say,) ‘Don’t expect them to do these things’ or, ‘You’re going to have to readjust your dreams for your children,’" she said. "To me, it was validation.”
As of Friday night, Ting had raised about $1,600 of her $6,000 goal. Visit her GoFundMe campaign to learn more.