A 16-year-old pupil from Cape Town’s School of Rock will jet off to America next week for a musical opportunity of a lifetime. Gabriela Webb has been chosen as part of the international School of Rock’s Center Stage talent search and will perform in front of Atlantic Records executives at a private artist showcase in Los Angeles. Gabi, who attends Cedar House High School, submitted a five-minute audition video of her performing an original song called Empty Eyes, which secured her spot as one of 20 teenagers flown to Los Angeles to record songs at the Artist Partnership Group studios. She will perform two originals songs in Los Angeles on Sunday 10 NovemberThe Noordhoek resident says being chosen to represent South Africa is a great privilege but it came as a bit of a shock.“This is something I never expected I would be doing. I am in absolute awe that I have been given this opportunity. As the only SA teen, I hope to carry the confidence and love I have experienced from my years living here,” Gabi says.Growing up, Gabi’s energy was spent on gymnastics, and she competed at provincial level. There were signs that she had a flair for writing when Gabi won some awards for English. Even though she has been writing songs since the age of four, (she mentions a song she wrote about yoghurt), she can’t recall exactly when she made up her mind about making music a career. “I do remember a time when I had performed one of my original songs at a restaurant and later that evening a woman came up to me, half tearful, and told me that my song made her feel something special. I will be forever grateful for that comment, as that is the dream with music. I want people to feel my music; for my music to connect people,” Gabi says. Born in Johannesburg to a rock-loving Brazilian mother (Lili Whiteman) and a South African drummer father (Gavin Webb), Gabi has lived all over the world and has been playing music for as long as she can remember.Gavin says music has always been a family passion. “I feel eternally blessed that Gabi has taken up the soul of music which gives us the ability to express our emotions and connect unconditionally. I look forward to her sharing that joy with the world and I will always be her biggest fan,” he says. Leigh Spaun, School of Rock Claremont marketing director and co-owner, says even though Gabi has only been at School of Rock since June, it feels much longer.“Gabi arrived with this amazing talent and we were excited to nurture this talent and guide her on her musical journey. Fifteen of our students entered the talent search and to have one of our students be selected out of 1 000s of entries globally is remarkable. We do not doubt that Gabi will shine throughout this process,” says Spaun. V For more information on the Center Stage programme and how you can audition, visit www.schoolofrock.com/music-programs/center-stage.