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Leaving on a good note

Story by Chris Graham

Ninety thousand dollars to raise, a 36-minute piece in Latin to learn.

These kids are going to earn their Carnegie Hall stripes.

“It’s hard to believe that we’re almost here,” said Amber Long, a sophomore member of the Waynesboro Concert Choir, which is leaving for New York on Friday for a packed weekend schedule of rehearsals and performances that will conclude at Carnegie Hall on Monday night.

The weekend will also include a concert performance at the United Nations on Saturday and an hour on “The Early Show” on CBS on Monday that, if things go as scheduled, will finish up with a song live on the air at 8:50 a.m.

“My stomach has been churning since last week,” choir director Jeffrey Ryman told me today after the final River City rehearsal of the piece that the choir will perform at Carnegie Hall, “Lux Aeterna” by Morten Lauridsen.

And Ryman was referring there to the work that has had to go into the performance piece. The choir has also been under the gun to raise $90,000 to finance the trip for the 53 members of the ensemble who are making the trip.

The effort is thisclose to being completed, due in no small part to the support of the Waynesboro community. Bingos, spaghetti suppers, donation days at local eateries and more have been the facts of life for choir members the past several weeks.

A surprise boost came at the community sendoff for the concert choir on Saturday.

“When we heard we’d raised $1,500 there, it was like, Wow. I didn’t think there were that many people there to give that much,” Long said.

“The community support has been tremendous. We know we have a lot of people supporting us,” Long said.


The WHS Concert Choir will be boarding the buses for New York Friday at 10 a.m.

The community is invited to help send the choir off.

(Which is my way of saying … if you can, get out there and show the kids that we care.)

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augusta free press news