Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


December 18, 2009

Local voices to be heard at Carnegie

3 schools join to sing in NYC

ASHLAND — There won’t be much time for practice, although a group of local singers will make it to Carnegie Hall.

Since spring, students from choirs at Paul G. Blazer, Boyd County High School and Russell High School have been washing cars, selling concessions at softball games, serving dinners and selling stuff to pay their way to the prestigious venue in the city that never sleeps. After rehearsing the music with their own classmates, the singers joined to raise their collective voices for the first time Friday.

“They are getting excited. It’s a month to the day that we sing,” said music director Karen Hopkins from Paul G. Blazer, as fellow directors Theresa Russell of Russell High School and Carl Taylor from Boyd County High School nodded in agreement.

Roughly a dozen of the 28 vocalists have previously visited New York City, but it seemed each had an idea of a few of the places they hope to visit as part of their Jan. 18 performance during a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium.

“I want to see the Met,” said singer Rebecca Gallaher.

“Times Square!” offered Michael Seagraves.

“I want to see the Statue of Liberty,” added Stephanie Wireman.

With four hours of each day in New York City dedicated to the performance, Hopkins said the local students will have opportunities to explore, with scheduled activities including a performance of “Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway, a visit to the Empire State Building and a dinner cruise to Ellis Island after their debut at Carnegie Hall. Time has also been allotted for the students “just to mosey Times Square,” Hopkins said.

With an abundance of musical notes from Tim Sharp, who will stand before the local students as they join with other vocalists from across the nation, the local music directors say they have much to accomplish before they get on the bus for the Big Apple.

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