“It was a huge stadium, it’s gorgeous, and so many other famous people had performed there before. It was just special,” eighth-grader Kailee Kittle said. “We were the only school in Bartow County that was able to go [for the performance].”
The group was invited to join the National Middle School Choir after receiving the “Spirit of D.C.” award last year while performing at the Heritage Festival in Washington, D.C. While at Carnegie Hall, students performed with other middle schoolers from across the country and world under clinician and arranger Rollo Dilworth.
Chorus members said performing with other students from other states as well as other countries, including South Korea, was a great experience.
“The first day we went there we got to sit wherever we wanted. Our group all sat together, we went over the music with the director, [but] we all got to know each other when we got our seats and it was a lot of fun,” eighth-grader Megan Moore said.
While in New York, students visited the 911 Memorial, Trinity Church, St. Paul’s Chapel, the Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Center, Time’s Square, the Brooklyn Tabernacle, the Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Empire State Building and saw the musical “Wicked.”
“It was raining, but I don’t think it took away any from how great it was to actually be there,” Moore said.
Eighth-grader Essence Wise said she has always loved to sing and will always remember performing at Carnegie Hall.
“My favorite part of the trip was when we went to Carnegie Hall because I love to sing and I felt honored to go. It was a dream come true,” Wise said.
Eighth-grader Sydney Johnson said she appreciated the opportunity to perform and visit NYC.
“[What I found rewarding] was just the experience in all. To be able to go there from a small town in Georgia, to go to New York and experience that type of thing was really inspiring and rewarding,” Johnson said.
The reasons why the students interviewed became interested in chorus ranged from seeing their parents perform in their respective church choirs to watching TV shows like “Hannah Montana” at a younger age. However, the reasons they keep coming back followed the same pattern, with each student mentioning chorus director Teresa Gray’s dedication and enthusiasm.
“[I appreciate] the friends that you meet and [chorus director] Ms. Gray. She’s just fun loving, very warm-hearted, and she just knows how to make your day,” Johnson said.