Carnegie Hall in New York City is one of the most lauded stages that any musician can perform on, and few musicians can say they have. But come March of next year, the HIgh School Choir will be joining an ensemble of other choirs to perform on the coveted stage — if they can afford it.
“Musicians live their whole life working for and trying to get to Carnegie Hall,” Choir Director Robert Doyle said. “And these are high schoolers and they're going to be able to say they've performed on the stage at Carnegie Hall.”
That trip, however, comes at no small price: The trip will run about $2,000 per student and $1,600 per chaperone. The group is seeking any and all public donations to help fund the trip.
“None of these are kids are independently wealthy. They're all having to work really hard to make the money to go to New York,” Doyle said. “But they recognize how important it is and what an opportunity (that) is being presented to them.”
Doyle said the choir was asked to perform at Carnegie Hall by a music professor at Michigan State University and Midamerican Productions. But the the group will participating in much more than just a single performance.
“We will be doing New York,” Doyle said, and that includes a Broadway show, sightseeing and a workshop with a Broadway coach.
Overall, Doyle said the 13 singers signed-on to the trip and the entire choir make an exceptional group.
“We've got kids who have the biggest hearts I've worked with,” Doyle said. “They're a really special group of kids on top of the fact that they sing very well.”
Mary Timpf, whose son is in the choir at Edsel Ford, is the president of the Crescendo Club, a booster organization for the fine arts at Edsel Ford.
Timpf said the students and Crescendo Club have organized a host of different fundraising activities, including a bottle drive, garage sale, and a deal with the Dearborn that is currently going on. For the month of August residents can order a “Carnegie Shake,” which is just a regular shake, but 50 cents from each one sole goes to help pay for the trip.
As a teacher herself, Timpf said she strongly believes in the importance of keeping the arts in education.
"The research really shows that students do better academically with the arts,” she said. “We want all of our students to be well rounded.”
Edsel Ford recently increased its fine arts requirements for incoming freshman, Timpf said, and that's a good thing.
“The arts are something you should enjoy your entire life, and participate in your entire life,” she said.