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Grayson chorus invited to perform at Carnegie Hall

LOGANVILLE - The skyscrapers, sights and sounds of New York City aren't far for members of the Grayson High School chorus. Fifty-nine students will be visiting the city in February for the honor of performing at Carnegie Hall.

Students got the good news in March, when Alan Raines, a conductor at Georgia State University, invited them to serve as the lead choir for his Carnegie Hall High School Honor Chorus. He had been impressed with their performance at the Georgia Music Educators Association conference in Savannah.

Director Renee Wicker was thrilled about the opportunity. She sees the trip as a way of building bonds between the singers, having observed them thinking like a choir, not just a group of individuals.

"They are learning the teamwork involved in making music and making it meaningful to artist and audience alike," Wicker said.

Unfortunately for the students, the trip doesn't come cheap. They have been selling everything from calendars to candy bars to raise money for the trip. The Booster Executive Board has been contacting local businesses to ask for donations. Despite these efforts, they still need more than $6,000 to help some families finance the trip.

The students will be in New York from Feb. 16 to 19. Many of the students have never left the Southeast, let alone traveled to New York. Senior Sarah Smith was excited about the prospect of exploring the city and performing at Carnegie Hall.

"I've always read in history books about Carnegie Hall, and it's just going to be a really awesome experience because you're singing in a part of history," Smith said.

The Grayson High School Mixed Chorus is comprised of members from three choruses that meet during the school day. Students from the advanced women's ensemble, men's chorus and the select mixed ensemble will be performing.

Brandon Deller, 16, felt honored when the choir was selected to perform.

"I knew we could do it because we try to work together in the best way possible," Deller said. "We are committed to excellence in our art."

For more information or to contribute toward the student trip, call Renee Wicker at 770-554-7826.