Staff Report

Last month, local FishHawk area resident and Barrington Middle School student Megan Hoening had the unique opportunity to participate in the filming of an upcoming commercial to be aired during the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 7. Seven students from the Tampa Bay area were selected to fly to New York City and San Francisco for this project.

Megan sings with Lumina Youth Choirs, a Tampa Bay based choir that meets at the University of South Florida each week and performs concerts throughout the year. A casting agency from California contacted Artistic Director Deah McReynolds to audition her singers. The audition, via Skype, gave them an opportunity to audition as a group and then each student took a turn singing a solo.

“We honestly didn’t think it was really going to be a possibility. After all, this was an LA-based casting agency looking for talent for a national commercial. But the idea of it was fun and both Megan and I felt like it would be great opportunity to give it a try, regardless of the outcome,” stated Kerrie Hoening, Megan’s mother.

MEGAN_SanFranFour days later, late in the afternoon, a call came in to Hoening’s cell phone from the casting agency asking to fly Megan to New York the next morning. For the next three hours, mayhem ensued as everyone in the family began to pull together, collecting clothing and supplies needed for the trip, as well as fielding phone calls from casting, wardrobe and travel agents. Accompanied by her grandmother, Marcia Hoening, Megan was off to New York about 16 hours later.

When asked how she felt upon receiving the call to participate in the commercial, Megan said, “I was shocked and a little nervous because I didn’t know what to expect.”

Megan enjoyed traveling with another student from her choir and upon arriving in New York, they were greeted by a driver, holding a sign with their names. They were then whisked away to a rehearsal in Manhattan, followed by an intense filming schedule the following day.

“It was very different and chaotic but I liked it,” said Megan about the filming process. “All the behind the scenes stuff, like the cameras, was really cool.”

The third day, everyone flew home, only to receive an e-mail two days later asking Megan to fly to San Francisco for additional filming. Megan’s father Jeff Hoening said, “San Francisco is a great city and I knew this would be the chaperoning project for me. I had a great time watching the filming and even enjoyed some sightseeing with Megan around the city.”

It was another three days of travel and filming, with some great perks, such as a hotel stay at the iconic Fairmont Hotel.

The Hoening family all agree this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and are excited to see one of their own grace the television screen for millions viewers.

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