Cheatham County Exchange

Sycamore student shines on world’s biggest stage

Sycamore student Jackson Reed performed at the Sydney Opera House in Australia as part of the high school Honors Performance Series. PHOTO COURTESY OF CHEATHAM COUNTY SCHOOLS

Jackson Reed, a sophomore at Sycamore High School, was recently selected for the high school Honors Performance Series at the Sydney Opera House. Reed performed on the euphonium in August with the Honors Band. Participation in the Honors Ensembles is limited to the highest-rated young performers from across the world.

Jackson auditioned for the Honors Performance Series and was accepted after a review by the Honors Selection Board. Acceptance to the elite group is a direct result of the talent, dedication and achievements demonstrated in their application and audition recording.

“I was nominated by my middle school band teacher, Ms. Penelope Pitts, to audition for the program,” Reed said. “It was a video audition and a resumé of what I’ve done.”

Reed sent the audition video in September 2022, he said, and received an email in November stating that he had been selected for the program.

“It was really exciting,” Reed said of the trip. “It was a long flight; we flew to Los Angeles which was about four or five hours, then to Sydney which is about 15 hours. It was very tiring.”

Reed has studied music for five years and is a member of the Sycamore High School Band. Other honor ensembles he has performed with include the Cheatham County Honor Band, Gateway Music Association Honor Band and Austin Peay’s Governors Honor Band. Reed said his long-term goal is to play in college while studying music and that he currently is looking at a career in music education.

Reed joined performers from across the United States for a special performance at the world-famous Sydney Opera House, a venue that marks the pinnacle of musical achievement. The finalists came together in Sydney, Australia, where they had the opportunity to learn from world-renowned conductors, worked with other performers and got a taste of Sydney.

Besides performing, Reed was able to do some sightseeing, including a trip to the Sydney Zoo where he said he was able to feed some kangaroos.

“I got to make a lot of friends there with the other talented performers that I still talk to,” Reed said. “We text each other back and forth.”

“Being selected to the Honors Performance Series is something each finalist should be extremely proud of accomplishing,” said Marion Gomez, Music Director for the Honors Performance Series. “We processed nearly 10,000 nominations this year and have selected the most talented student performers from around the world. Working with these conductors and performing at these renowned music halls is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that these musicians will never forget.”

The Honors Performance Series was created to showcase accomplished individual student performers on an international level by allowing them to study under master conductors and perform in world-renowned venues. The Honors Performance Series is proudly presented by WorldStrides, the nation’s leading educational travel organization. Learn more by visiting and