Gardens children’s choir to sing at Carnegie Hall — if it gets the money


Highlights

A dozen singers between the ages of 8 and 18 need help getting to Carnegie Hall this summer.

They have until May 15, at the latest, to come up with the $1,500 they need for the five-day trip.

A Palm Beach Gardens youth chorus has the “pinch me” opportunity that even accomplished musicians would envy: performing on the stage of the legendary Carnegie Hall in New York City.

They need your help making their dreams come true, though. Despite yard sales, bake sales, pizza nights and letter-writing campaigns, about a dozen hard-working singers haven’t been able to come up with the $1,500 they need to pay for the trip, said Sandi Russell, co-founding artistic director of the Palm Beach Children’s Chorus.

VIDEO: Children sing, dance to ‘Footloose’

About 25 singers between the ages of 8 and 18 are on the list to attend the Choirs of America’s Choral Convergence Festival for five days and four nights this June, Russell said. Nine have none of the money they need, and three or four have paid some of the cost but not the total, she said.

“We really, really, really don’t want to leave anyone behind,” she said.

The soft deadline is April 30, and the absolute latest is May 15, Russell said.

The singers who rehearse in Palm Beach Gardens come from all over the county. Some of their families have someone suffering from severe illness or had a tragic occurrence in their lives. Sometimes, they simply struggle financially in their day-to-day lives.

They all deserve the opportunity, and they all work incredibly hard, Russell said.

They started learning the repertoire in December and rehearse two days per week, including a four-hour rehearsal on Saturdays, Russell said. They will add another two-hour weeknight rehearsal as the festival gets closer to put in a full eight hours per week.

In other words, they earned this trip.

The music they’ll be performing is “very rigorous” and in multiple languages, Russell said. One of the pieces is “Dôme épais” from the French opera “Lakme.” A joint choir of 450 singers from across the United States and the Czech Republic will perform the world premiere of “May the Road Rise to Meet You,” by Composer-in-Residence Tesfa Wondemagegnehu.

The choir will get to perform two of its own pieces on stage. The educational program will include spending a day at Queens College working with renowned choral clinicians, Russell said.

“It’s an amazing opportunity,” she said.

The chorus is not just about the music. The mother of one singer whose daughter has an attention disorder said her daughter is more able to focus in school, and her performance has improved after she auditioned and joined the choir.

And the singers are taught to serve.

“You have to share your gifts and talents with the community.”

To support the singers:

Visit any Wells Fargo and tell the banker you’d like to donate to the Palm Beach Children’s Chorus - Carnegie Hall, or give online at www.pbchildrenschorus.org.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Delray Beach residents homeless after fire
Delray Beach residents homeless after fire

Residents of a Delray Beach duplex are without a place to live after a fire swept through one side of their building in the 200 block of Southwest Fourth Avenue Sunday afternoon. “Heavy flames” were shooting from one of the units when firefighters arrived shortly before 3 p.m., according to Capt. Kevin Saxton of Delray Beach Fire Rescue...
One person hurt in Acreage helicopter crash
One person hurt in Acreage helicopter crash

One person was injured after a small helicopter crashed in the Acreage, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue said Sunday. The crash happened near Royal Ascot Estates, Fire Rescue officials said shortly before 4 p.m. The pilot was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Boy with 10-pound tumor on face dies after surgery in Florida
Boy with 10-pound tumor on face dies after surgery in Florida

A 14-year-old boy who recently underwent surgery to remove a 10-pound tumor from his face has died, according to news reports. Emanuel Zayas developed the benign tumor while suffering from polyostotic fibrous dysplasia, a genetic disorder in which fibrous tissue begins to replace bone in the body. “Our condolences and prayers for Emanuel's family...
Jupiter Island sees rare armed robbery
Jupiter Island sees rare armed robbery

Jupiter Island, that tony strip of mansions that counts Tiger Woods and billionaire John Malone among its homeowners, experienced a rare violent crime this weekend. The Jupiter Island Public Safety Department said two young men wearing masks and “armed with an undetermined type handgun” robbed a Jupiter Island residence early Saturday....
Florida man dead after diving in underwater caves
Florida man dead after diving in underwater caves

A 50-year-old Florida man is dead after cave diving in Weeki Wachee Springs State Park this weekend, officials said. Davin Brannon, 53, of Dover, was diving in the Eagle’s Nest cave around noon Saturday when Hernando County Sheriff officials were called about a diver in distress. By the time crews arrived at the Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management...
More Stories