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Musical sisters from Aldie set their sights on more world-class performances

Two sisters who showcased their musical skills in a prestigious European music festival over the summer say they hope to be invited to more places of musical origin around the world.

Kayleigh and Raelyn Hoang from Aldie were invited to travel to Vienna, Austria, in August, where they played the piano at a concert organized by the Golden Key Music Festivals organization at Ehrbar Hall. Ehrbar Hall has played host to the likes of Brahms, Bruckner, Mahler and other famous musicians.

The sisters were invited to play through their showing at the Golden Key Music Festival of the U.S. Kayleigh, 14, was chosen after winning first place for her own original composition, while Raelyn, 12, applied to showcase her rendition of a Chopin piece.

The girls have written essays describing what performing in the hall felt like.

“I was very nervous in the beginning of the concert, but once I rested my fingers down on the keys, all my worries went away and my thoughts were in the music,” Raelyn wrote.

“I had the opportunity to make my own history on the prestigious stage of Ehrbar Hall. Standing at the peak of the steps was overwhelming, yet unforgettable, and the ensemble of applauding hands kept my mind awake to capture every breathtaking moment of that single bow,” Kayleigh noted.

“When my focus shifted to the shimmering keys, every image of my peripheral vision dropped into nothingness, and I was alone in my two-foot world, free to roam with only the piano and my imagination. My fingers on the keyboard felt of talons upon a branch, and like all birds, the sensation flew away as quickly as it had come,” she wrote.

The girls also took in Amsterdam and Budapest during the trip with their parents and younger sister, Cameron. Raelyn's favorite city was Vienna.

“What appealed to me the most about Vienna was its enormous showcase for art and music that thrives under the rich culture and history of the city,” Kayleigh told the Times-Mirror. “Gazing upon the vast collection of monumental artifacts made me realize how much bigger the world can offer if you look beyond its boundaries.”

Fresh off the back of their European success, the sisters have greater goals and aspirations.

“My goal for playing the piano is to strive for improvement and continue to learn from different composers and period pieces,” Raelyn said.

Kayleigh hopes to perform in other parts of the world.

“In terms of composing, I want to challenge myself in arranging more scores in various musical styles, and hopefully be invited to many more places of musical origins to share my compositions with others around the world,” she said.

Proud father Tri Hoang said it felt amazing to see his daughters on the stage.

“To see our girls walk alone onto the stage adorning the beautiful dresses, our concerns and anxieties faded, and our entire brains rushed into a state of sunny satisfaction and proudness,” he said. “With anything they will do in the future, we often and repeatedly tell our three girls to be truthful to their heart, work hard to achieve their goals, be happy with whatever they accomplished, and be grateful to those who enriched their lives with teachings and opportunities."

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