JHS choir heading to New YorkAbout 70 members of the Jamestown High School summer choir are in the midst of preparations for an upcoming five-day trip to the bright lights of New York City.
About 70 members of the Jamestown High School summer choir are in the midst of preparations for an upcoming five-day trip to the bright lights of New York City.
Departing July 15 from Jamestown via motor coach and arriving in The Big Apple a little more than a day later, the group of students ranging from freshmen to graduated seniors is excited for a once-in-a-lifetime type of trip.
“I’m really looking forward to singing with a well-prepared group,” said Nathan Kopperud, who graduated from JHS in May.
The summer choir meets each week and those students still attending JHS receive school credit for their participation in the group.
“This is their summer time and they’re going to have a lot of fun on this trip, but it’s really an educational and cultural experience for all of them,” said Cheryl McIntyre, director of choirs for JHS.
McIntyre said the last trip JHS summer choir took to New York City was four years ago.
“The last time we were there, we got a chance to sing on the ‘Today’ show, so that was pretty neat. I can’t guarantee that’s going to happen again but we will be going to an outdoor live taping when we get there,” she said.
The summer choir takes a large-group trip to a big city every two years, with the last trip having been to Chicago in 2010.
The group has been preparing all summer for its upcoming trip, during which time they will be performing at a number of locations including the United Nations headquarters, across from Ground Zero and at the Statue of Liberty.
“It’s really meaningful to be able to sing at such historic places like the Statue of Liberty and Ground Zero,” said Jace Erickson, another May graduate of JHS.
McIntyre said the group four years ago saw Ground Zero during its trip but said it should be a completely different experience this year.
“I’m most excited to go to Ground Zero and perform,” she said. “Considering how far that site has come and how different it looks from four years ago, I expect it to be a very powerful thing when we get there.”
The summer choir’s performances will include not only patriotic themes such as “God Bless America,” but what McIntyre called, “multicultural and popular music pieces also.”
The group has been performing most of the songs a capella, or without instruments to accompany them, because many of the sites do not have pianos or other instruments available for the group to sing along with.
When asked if she anticipates nerves getting the best of her during any of these big-city performances, JHS senior Mary Joy said, “I used to get nervous performing, but after a while you get used to it.”
Beyond performances, members of the group are excited about some of the unique opportunities that New York City has to offer.
“I can’t wait to go on the DJ Dinner Dance Cruise and just have a good time dancing,” said Rebekah Horgan, senior at JHS. “Plus just the opportunity to sing in different places and get away from the normal feeling of being on a stage should be cool.”
The summer choir is also expected to visit Ellis Island, see “The Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway, visit Trump Towers and shop on New York City’s famous Fifth Avenue.
Twelve chaperones, including JHS faculty and parents will accompany the group.
McIntyre said it costs each student about $750 for the trip, plus additional purchases group members may want to make while traveling or while in the city. She said the students have been holding fundraisers throughout the course of this past school year to help cover some of the trip’s expense.
The group will leave Jamestown on July 15 and return the evening of July 20.
Sun reporter Brian Willhide can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org