HANCOCK COUNTY — Members of the Hancock County Children’s Choir recently performed to a packed house at Carnegie Hall in New York City, taking the group’s tagline of “Opening a World of Opportunity” to new heights. The choir was part of a larger choir of 270 voices who sang with Grammy and Dove award-winning group Casting Crows. 

The choir was directed by conductor, composer and arranger David Hamilton, known for his work with Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood, Francesca Battestelli, Walt Disney theme parks, the Boston Pops and the Nashville Symphony.

Choir members arrived in New York City on Thursday, Jan. 22, for the performance.

Between rehearsals, the choir visited the Empire State Building, the 9/11 Museum and Rockefeller Center as well as attending a Broadway show. The group was also able to take part in a dinner cruise around Liberty and Ellis islands, giving the choir the chance to view the New York City skyline and the Statue of Liberty. 

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“This was an incredible opportunity to learn from and perform with some of the most gifted artists in contemporary music,” said Gayle Roschi, the choir’s artistic director. “Best weekend of my life.”

Rehearsals included time to meet and talk with members of the Casting Crowns band as well as with the members of the corporate choir, made up of people from 45 states and two countries.

“Watching the crowd react to the choir, orchestra and band was amazing,” Doug Puckett, father of choir member Lauren Puckett, said. 

The Hancock County Children’s Choir is a choral performance and education program that creates musical opportunities for youth through the performance of a variety of musical literature including sacred, secular, classical, pop and cross-cultural genres of music.

It provides music education with the emphasis on fundamentals of vocal production in combination with a broad-based music theory curriculum. 

“This is what it’s all about for us. We are pouring ourselves into developing the gifts and abilities of each student and inspiring them to pursue excellence,” administrative director Lisa Heady said. “We want to connect our students with professionals who have excelled in their craft and to provide opportunities to perform not just locally but also in some exciting and educational venues.”

For more information about auditions and performances, please visit hancockcountychildrenschoir.org.