Fifteen students and four chaperones representing the West Ranch High School Choir boarded a red eye flight to New York City to participate in a 200-person-plus choral experience at Carnegie Hall in January.
The singers in the choir ranged from high school age to adult. The work was called “A Great and Glorious Victory” and tells the story of Lord Horatio Nelson’s military victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. It was composed by Jonathan Willcocks, a contemporary British composer (his father is Sir David Willcocks, who composed music for the Royal Wedding. He was also the conductor of the piece, which was a great experience for the students to have the rare opportunity to sing for the composer.
It was also the Carnegie Hall premiere of the work, which led to a standing ovation at the end which was reported as “incredible” by choir director Molly Peters.
The action-packed weekend schedule included two four-hour rehearsals in NYC before the performance on Sunday, Jan. 20. The rehearsals were great, too, which isn’t always the case, Peters said.
“Jonathan Willcocks is a delight to sing for,” she said. “He was funny, and quick, and really kept all of the singers engaged.”
Peters sang with the choir, as well.
In addition to the rehearsals, the group did a lot of sight-seeing including visits to the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island cruise, Rockefeller Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Natural History and Times Square, which was walking distance from the hotel. They also visited the 9/11 Memorial, which was beautifully done. On Friday night they went to a Broadway show, “Newsies,” which is a great show for high school students, Peters said.
Students held a variety of fundraisers to pay for the trip including candle sales, a holiday boutique, sponsorships, program advertising, ticket revenue from concerts and car washes.
“All singers came back exhausted but feeling incredibly accomplished,” Peters said. “It was a fantastic weekend.”