HASTINGS, Mich. - Varsity Singers at Hastings High School are the only choir in the state invited to sing on the national stage at Carnegie Hall in New York City for Choirs of America (COA).
Later this week, roughly 50 students will pile onto a bus and head to the Big Apple for the annual COA festival, which'll give students a chance to perform alongside some of the best singers in the U.S. while engaging with renowned educators from all across the world.
Matt Callaghan, Director of Choral Activities at Hastings Area Schools, says even though their program is small, he believes it's one of the best.
"These kids are going to blow a lot of people away in New York," Callaghan said. "They’re going to see a small school like Hastings and say, 'Wow, that’s a program.. that's a real program that’s being built in Michigan."
The Hastings Varsity Choir cashed in their medals and accolades of success obtained throughout the year and are now able to participate in the 2018 COA, which runs March 22 through March 24.
The group will perform on stage with roughly 11 other U.S. choirs singing in the Armani OSO Chorale.
The students will also perform their own ensemble at the Copeland School of music while visiting the National Sept. 11 Memorial & Museum and experience Wicked on Broadway. It's an opportunity the students say is an honor to be part of.
"The Choirs at Hastings that have gone before us have been amazing, they've opened up this opportunity for us," said Ellie Youngs, a Hastings junior singing alto-two this year.
Thanks to fundraisers held throughout the year, each student was able to raise roughly $1,000 for the trip. They hit the road Wednesday and heading back home Sunday.