Young Darien singer debuts at Carnegie Hall

DARIEN - Some musicians practice a lifetime before making it to the world's most renowned performance spaces, while others are able to reach dizzying heights before they can even drive.

E.J. Couloucoundis, a freshman at the Academy of Information Technology and Engineering and an aspiring Broadway performer, was invited this winter to perform at the Carnegie Hall.

"I didn't actually begin performance singing until about two years ago," he says.

The teen's mother adds that her son never liked practicing in the past, but with the help of his instructor, the 14-year-old singer took the stage of one of the greatest concert venues in the nation.

"I'm very, very excited," Couloucoundis says. "I'm a little bit nervous because it's Carnegie Hall. You can't get much bigger than that."

On the night of the concert, Couloucoundis remained calm and collected, with his parents backstage cheering him on.

"I had never seen him that way," says Couloucoundis' father. "He was no longer this goofy guy in blue jeans...suddenly he was this focused singer, and he knew it."

Couloucoundis says ultimately he sees his talent as way to benefit others. His Carnegie Hall debut was part of a benefit concert for a New York homeless charity. The teen will be performing at a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS in May.

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