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Teen’s Wish Comes True With Chicago Symphony Orchestra

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Make-A-Wish America recipient Hanna Waters talks some shop with the CSO horn section. (L-R) Susanna Gaunt, David Griffin, Oto Carrillo, Waters, Dan Gingrich, Jim Smelser and Dale Clevenger. (Photo: Brian Kersey/Facebook)

Make-A-Wish America recipient Hanna Waters talks some shop with the CSO horn section. (L-R) Susanna Gaunt, David Griffin, Oto Carrillo, Waters, Dan Gingrich, Jim Smelser and Dale Clevenger. (Photo: Brian Kersey/Facebook)

dellimore250 Craig Dellimore
Craig Dellimore, political editor for WBBM, joined the station in 1983...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – A Texas teenager who’s battling cancer lived her dream this week when she was able to perform with some of the musicians in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

“I just kind of was shocked. I was like, ‘yes, yes!’ It didn’t really hit me until on the plane here that this is actually happening,” said 15-year-old Hanna Waters, after she rehearsed with the six members of the CSO’s French horn section.

Hanna is from Dallas, but her dream was to play with the CSO.

“I’ve always been told it’s the best in the world, and I just love the city, and I love this orchestra,” she said. “I have recordings at home on my iPod and stuff, and I just really wanted to come and play with them.”

She has Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare bone cancer, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation helped her realize her dream.

“Every wish is wonderful, but definitely these unique experiences are always exciting, and hopefully it’s exciting for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, too,” said May Warrick, senior wish coordinator for the Illinois chapter.

Hanna’s father, Lin Waters, was recording almost every moment as she played with the symphony.

“We’re all over that. You keep taking them, and keep recording everything. It’s been great,” he said. “It’s very emotional, but oh it’s great. It’s just wonderful.”

Hanna was nervous, but she didn’t falter.

“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, It’s kind of like my dream to someday play with the symphony, so this is like, hey, it’s possible,” she said.

She played with confidence, and praised the six-member horn section.

“They let me sit up on the stage with them, and they’re really just trying to make me feel welcome, and I enjoy it. It’s fun,” she said.

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