The Carroll County High School Chorus will give the performance of their lives on April 3.
Thirty-one members of the CCHS choir group have their bags packed and ready to head to New York City, where they will perform Sunday night in Carnegie Hall, considered by many to be the world’s most famous concert hall.
“I didn’t think five years ago when we first started doing this that the choir that we would be doing something this big,” said Chandra Harmon, CCHS Choral Director.
For more than 100 years, Carnegie Hall has been the go-to venue for artists of all kinds to make their name in the Big Apple. Known for its tradition of excellence, Carnegie Hall has long been an essential part of New York City’s diverse cultural fabric. And thanks to a Gold rating at a national completion in Williamsburg, the Carroll County High Chorus will get its chance to take the world’s grandest stage.
After a full year of fundraising for the trip, 31 members of the CCHS Chorus will leave Hillsville on March 31 for a four-day trip to New York. There, they will be spending several hours in rehearsal with Anton Armstrong, conductor of the St. Olaf’s Choir of Minnesota.
“I am looking forward to it. The kids are so excited,” Harmon said. “They will perform April 3 at 8:30 p.m. I have never been before. This is by invitation only, so we are pretty honored to get the invite to go.”
It’s one of many waves Harmon’s troops have made recently. Last year, the CCHS Chorus earned a trip to Boston, Massachusetts because of their Gold-rating performances. The trip to New York City is such a huge deal only eight other groups nationally were invited to sing at Carnegie Hall for this special weekend performance.
“We have been working for this since last May. We got back from Boston in April and we got the invite to New York in May. It’s nice to have the trip paid off. Now we can just kind of sit back and enjoy everything,” Harmon said. “The kids have been rehearsing the past couple of weeks and they have picked out some wonderful music for the kids.”
Aside from the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform in Carnegie Hall, the CCHS Chorus will have many chances to broaden their horizons on the trip. Among the many sights they will get to take in while in the Big Apple include the Statue of Liberty at Ellis Island, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Broadway show ‘Wicked.’ One of the group’s meals was paid for by the Hillsville VFW in Chinatown.
“They will get to see a lot of the cultural flavor of New York while they are up there. They will get to experience arts, music and history. We have a guide for Chinatown,” Harmon said. “They will be trying different foods and different things. And just being in a city that big – Boston was nice but it’s not as big and it doesn’t have the huge buildings that New York has.”
Besides a full meal donated by the VFW, Harmon said several other area businesses helped out by donating for fundraising bingos the group held throughout the year.
“I can’t believe it. I have fund-raised my brains out and the kids have worked really hard,” Harmon said. “It’s an expensive trip. We really appreciate all the community support, the parents, and everybody who has contributed in some way to make this dream a reality for the students. The students are very appreciative of all the help they have received.”
Allen Worrell can be reached at (276) 779-4062 or on [email protected]