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Choirs seek funds to perform in NYC

Hoover High School needs $80,000 to send students to Carnegie Hall

September 09, 2011|By Tiffany Kelly, tiffany.kelly@latimes.com
  • Charlene Brandt, 17, center, and other students rehearse at Hoover High School in Glendale on Friday, September 9, 2011. The high school's choral department has been invited to sing at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The department has to raise $80,000 for the trip next May. (Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff Photographer)
Charlene Brandt, 17, center, and other students rehearse…

Two choir ensembles at Hoover High School are planning a series of fundraising events for a trip to New York City after a production company invited them to perform at Carnegie Hall.

Beth Richey-Sullivan, choir conductor at the school, submitted a video of the two advanced classes that she teaches to MidAmerica Productions, which presents performances from student and adult ensembles year-round.

The school must raise $80,000, or $2,000 per student, for airfare, hotel and transportation for a five-day residency in May.

It’s a process the school just began, said Richey-Sullivan. Hoover sent letters to 500 businesses within two miles of the campus, asking for donations and support.

“We are fundraising like crazy people,” she said. “I don’t want any student to not go because they can’t afford it.”

Many students in the advanced women’s ensemble, dolce melodia (sweet melody) and the advanced chamber aspire toward music careers after they leave high school, said Richey-Sullivan.

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Richey-Sullivan helps students with auditions and encourages them to seek classical training.

“There is no degree in pop music,” she said. “They need to get trained in classical music, which they can apply to any genre.”

Choir President Fiona Babakhians, 17, said the ensembles were shocked when they found out they were invited to perform at Carnegie Hall.

“I can’t even describe the emotions that were going through all of our minds,” she said.

A freshman in the advanced women’s ensemble said the two ensembles relate to each other through singing.

“I feel like we’re a family,” said 14-year-old Tavitha Reyes.

“We connect by music, by singing,” said 15-year-old Diana Davtyan. “Singing is our language, and that’s how we talk; I think that’s really beautiful.”

Upcoming fundraising events:

SEPT. 29

Yogurtland in Burbank from 3:30 to 11 p.m. Twenty percent of proceeds will go toward the trip. 304 N. San Fernando Blvd., Burbank

OCT. 19-20

Pops Concert at 7 p.m. All sales will go toward the trip. Hoover High School 651 Glenwood Rd., Glendale

OCT.27

Hypnotist Night. All sales will go toward the trip. Hoover High School.

DEC.6

Barnes and Noble benefit. Twenty percent of proceeds will go toward the trip. 210 Americana Way, Glendale

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