Windermere High School’s choir students have been invited to perform at one of the most well-known concert halls in the world: Carnegie Hall.
Forty-four Windermere High choir students will fly to New York to perform at the world-famous concert venue on April 26 under the direction of renowned composer Z. Randall Stroope, said Linda Boot, the school’s choral director.
The opportunity is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the students. Only a select few choral directors in the country are invited to the event, which is hosted by Choirs of America.
“Because I’ve been a choral director for a long time, I’m on a list of directors that get invited to participate in these kinds of events,” Boot said. “So it’s based on the director’s reputation, I guess. I mean, we’re only two years old, so it would be hard for our school to be on anybody’s radar yet. But we got the invitation and happily accepted it. We’re all so excited.”
Boot’s students will be among several to participate in the event along with Apopka High School’s choir, she said. West Orange High School’s choir, directed by Dr. Jeffery Redding, also has performed at the event in recent years.
“The event is put on by Choirs of America, and they host choirs there every spring and bring in world-famous conductors to conduct these choirs,” she said. “The students will be singing a commissioned piece that’s written specifically for them and will be performed by them. So it’s basically making its debut at Carnegie Hall, and it will be by composer Z. Randall Stroope, who is a really prolific composer.”
The students will spend four days in New York. And to make sure every student is able to attend, the choir is holding several concerts to assist in fundraising efforts, because the total cost for the trip is $1,600 per student, she said.
“There’s a saying that goes, ‘How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice,’ but right now we’re saying, ‘How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Fundraise, fundraise, fundraise,’” she said with a laugh.
Among other events, the choir will have a concert at 7 p.m. Nov. 1, the proceeds of which will go toward fundraising for the trip, Boot said. The choir also will be selling Christmas trees starting Thanksgiving weekend through Dec. 23, and hold a holiday concert at 8 p.m. Dec. 11. she said. There also are plans to host a collaborative benefit concert in late January with Disney performers.
“It’s really going to be a cool experience for them,” she said. “Being able to go to New York is awesome in itself, and getting to work with a world-class composer is just a win-win-win.”