CK singers find their way to Carnegie

"For anyone who has worked hard to accomplish something, there is the ultimate payoff. Whether it's a shot at the Olympics, a patent for an invention or a run at political office, there is the final opportunity to prove themselves as the best in their field. For some of the kids at Central Kitsap High School, that opportunity has come. The choir at CK has been invited to sing at Carnegie Hall in New York City next spring. Whether one is familiar with vocal music or not, Carnegie Hall is widely regarded as the Super Bowl of performance art; a place where the best go to see and be seen by top performers from all over the world. It is absolutely amazing, said Debbie Hill, CK's choir director. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Hill's choir classes were among the 700 picked to go out of 40,000 potential high school groups. Her group was picked by University of Washington professor Geoffrey Boers, who helps recruit groups for the annual program. Although most of the groups going had to send in an audition tape, Hill's group was picked to go based on the merit of their performance at music camps and competitions. Our group is very skilled, said choir member and CK junior Andrew Floro. We deserve to go. Although the itinerary of the trip is still being planned, the five-day stay will give the students an opportunity to do some of the touristy highlights of New York along with preparing for their performance of Durufle's Requiem. They plan to visit the Statue of Liberty, take in a Broadway showand then end their stay with a one-night performance April 8 at Carnegie Hall, where they will be led by Jonathan Griffith, the Conductor-in-Residence for MidAmerica Productions. The rarity of the opportunity is one Hill and her students have fully grasped. They all know not everyone has the chance to perform at Carnegie Hall. It's really exciting, said junior Rosie Parker. It's Carnegie Hall. The choir members know the importance of the trip and think the opportunity goes above and beyond what anyone at their level can expect. Going to Carnegie Hall, it's what sets the standard, Floro said. The trip, unfortunately, is not cheap. The group was asked to go for the first time last year, but was unable to raise the money needed in the short time it had. The cost for each student, as well as several parent chaperones, is $1,500. Around 36 students are committed to go presently, but still have to raise the bulk of their money. Hill said she hopes half of the cost can be attained through corporate sponsorship. She said sponsors should be excited about the trip because, unlike other field trips, this one stands apart from the average school outings as a chance to perform for the best in the world in the best hall in the world. Hill said there will be opportunities for each student to raise money so no one will be priced out of the trip. This will not be a case of the haves and the have-nots, Hill said. Money will be a factor, but Hill is certain all of her students have the talent it takes to go. "

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