Hornedo Middle School choir knows exactly how to get to Carnegie Hall: get noticed on YouTube, practice … and fundraise, fundraise, fundraise.
The Distinguished Concerts Singers International (DCINY) selected the choir to perform among students from throughout the world on June 24 at Carnegie Hall to sing a newly commissioned work for Treble and Youth Voices. The 40 choir students are $80,000 shy of their $120,000 goal to sing at the prestigious concert hall.
“We are very excited to go perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City with choristers from around the world,” said director Jessica Barney. “I feel honored and so thankful that my students will get this once in a lifetime opportunity. I have never been to New York City, yet alone perform at Carnegie Hall. This is an amazing accomplishment, and I feel so blessed.”
Representatives from the DCINY contacted Barney after seeing on YouTube an a cappella performance from their last year’s concert and asked them to submit an audition tape.
“The Hornedo Middle School choir received this invitation because of the quality and high level of musicianship demonstrated by the singers as well as the exceptional quality of their audition recording,” said Dr. Johnathan Griffin, artistic director and principal conductor for DCINY. “It is quite an honor just to be invited to perform in New York. These wonderful musicians not only represent a high quality of music and education, but they also become ambassadors for the entire community. This is an event of extreme pride for everybody and deserving of the community’s recognition and support.”
Eighth-grader MacKenzie Block called the trip to New York an “amazing, one in a lifetime opportunity.”
“We’re preparing by doing lots of before school practices and fundraisers and lots and lots of hard work on our part and Ms. Barney’s,” she said.
The choir will spend five days in New York City, balancing their time between rehearsals and sightseeing.
“I’m really excited and happy we get to do this,” said eighth-grader Jose Escoto, an 8th grader. “Not every middle school gets to do something amazing like this, to go to New York to do what we all love – choir and singing. It’s a passion and a dream come true.”
The choir has been working with the El Paso Community Foundation to raise money for the trip. Anyone interested in making a contribution can donate online.
“We have raised about $40,000.00,” Barney said. “It’s a chunk but we still have a ways to go.”