Sarah Biernacki is not only a talented vocalist, she’s courageous, too. The Huntington High School freshman will perform alongside Broadway stars at the Arts for Autism benefit on June 25 at the Gershwin Theatre in Manhattan.
The cause is something that is near and dear to the teenager’s heart. Ms. Biernacki will not only sing; she’ll also speak from the stage before a crowd expected to top 1,200 and include some of the leading figures in the entertainment industry.
Huntington High School freshman Sarah Biernacki.
“Arts for Autism is a one night annual Broadway benefit concert where the biggest names on Broadway join performing arts students from around the country onstage at the Gershwin Theatre, home to Broadway’s production of Wicked,” according to the event’s website. Last year’s concert included 28 Broadway stars and more than 150 students. It raised $45,000.
“This event to me is special because it shows that there isn’t one way to tell a story,” said Kelvin Moon Loh of The King and I and SpongeBob SquarePants. “The power of song. The power of dance. It has a farther reach than just entertainment. We can do something. We can do something really important.”
A veteran of From Stage to Screen Performing Arts Academy in Huntington, Ms. Biernacki also sings in the high school choir, where she’s highly regarded by music teacher Victoria Garbarino, who leads the choral activities program.
Jacque Carnahan, Ms. Biernacki’s teacher at From Stage to Screen is the artistic director of Arts for Autism and one of the creators of the show. “She invited her students to be in a number in the show,” the freshman said. “I thought this was a great fit for me because of my interest in autism.”
The Broadway stars and the talented students will “perform, spread awareness and inspire compassion, kindness and understanding for those affected by autism,” according to the event’s website. Fully 100 percent of all ticket sale proceeds will benefit Autism Speaks. The concert has raised $81,000 in his first two years.
“We are doing a medley from the musical, 13 with Broadway actress Brynn Williams, who was the original Cassie in the show,” Ms. Biernacki said.
The teenager was in the ensemble for the Huntington High School drama club’s musical production of Cinderella this spring. She captured second place in the local National History Day competition in the individual performance category for her research project on the Schenectady Massacre and advanced to the regionals at Hofstra University.
Ms. Bieracki was the assistant director of the Woodhull Intermediate School drama club’s production of Beauty and the Beast. She even found time to participate in the high school’s Safe Halloween program for the Huntington School District’s elementary grade level students. She sang in the recent spring concert and also performed in the a capella concert.
The freshman acknowledges that the transition from middle school to high school was a “hard adjustment,” but said she’s “had a lot of success in my classes and have had some great teachers.”
All things considered, Ms. Biernacki has had a wonderful freshman year. She has a multitude of interests and her talents are starting to become clear to everyone around the high school.
“I enjoy watching anime and cosplaying in my free time,” Ms. Biernacki said. “I also find myself writing and drawing. But mostly, I love to sing and act. I hope to become a Broadway actress someday.”