NEW PALESTINE — The image of a big apple anchors the art for the Hancock County Children’s Choir’s new T-shirt, which is entirely appropriate since the Big Apple is where the group will be later this month after a successful fundraising campaign.
The choir will perform at New York City’s venerable Carnegie Hall on May 24 in an invitation-only combined choral performance conducted by Ruth Dwyer, associate director of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir.
Choirs and vocal ensembles nationally are either recommended or selected based on their audition recordings to be part of the performance, and not all submissions are accepted, production officials said.
This year’s “Treble Choir Festival” features choirs from North Carolina, Oklahoma, New York and Indiana singing music from Rogers and Hammerstein, Mozart and George Gershwin.
“The music is at the top of our bracket,” said Children’s Choir artistic director Gayle Roschi. “It’s very, very difficult.”
The group has been rehearsing hard and raising money for the trip since last fall. This week, it announced it has raised the $22,000 necessary to cover production fees and send 15 members to the concert.
In addition to the support of family and friends, the effort also had some half-dozen corporate sponsors donate to the trip, said Joanna Crump, treasurer for the group.
“We had a lot of support, and we’re excited about the trip and the community getting behind us,” Crump said.
The 15-member group attending the Carnegie concert, composed primarily of the group’s two upper-level choirs will arrive May 21 in New York. Even with daily four-hour rehearsals until Saturday’s concert, they still plan to take in the sites.
“We’re excited to be one of the first groups to get into the 9/11 Memorial Museum (which opens May 21), and we’ll also visit Little Italy, the Empire State Building and take a cruise around Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty,” Roschi said.
The choir continues to raise money to pay for meals and incidental expenses, and this Saturday, the group will continue its Big Apple fund drive at CVS Pharmacy in New Palestine from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Crump said.
Only in its third year, Hancock County Children’s Choir was formed as a result of a growing interest to establish a local, elite choir as an alternative to traveling outside the county.
The group continues to grow, Roschi said, and is in the process of starting a “feeder program” to the main choirs with a kindergarten through second-grade choir.
In addition to its appearance in New York and many local concerts, the choir has been invited to sing in July at the U.S.S. Yorktown at Patriot’s Point in Mount Pleasant, S.C.
To contribute to the choir’s New York trip, contact Jill Stokes, director of development, at (317) 714-6035 or visit the choir’s website at www.hancockcountychildrenschoir.org.