The York County Senior Honors Choir will travel to New York City this weekend to sing at Carnegie Hall for the American Music Performance Nationals for
The York County Senior Honors Choir will travel to New York City this weekend to sing at Carnegie Hall for the American Music Performance Nationals for Children's & Youth Choirs. (Submitted)

More than 100 students will represent York County this weekend when they travel to New York City to sing in Carnegie Hall.

This is the first time the York County Senior Honors Choir is able to attend the American Music Performance Nationals for Children's & Youth Choirs, said director Randy Yoder.

The 111 students, 10 staff and 25 family members will load up on buses and spend Friday and Saturday in New York, partially for additional music education on top of the main performance Saturday night. About another 100 family members are traveling to see the performance Saturday, Yoder said.

Festival: With about 600 performers at the festival from around the nation, the York choir is one of the largest to participate this year, Yoder said. They were invited earlier this year, and the choir's board of directors decided to partially fund the trip to make it an affordable opportunity for the students.

The students are in 10th through 12th grades and audition to be a part of the choir each year, Yoder said. The students represent most York County school districts, as well as homeschool groups and private schools.

The group received the list of song selections for the festival several months ago, and learned it throughout January and February, Yoder said. They performed several of the songs during concerts in the spring, and haven't needed many rehearsals since their final local performance at the beginning of June, he said.

"They know what they're doing," Yoder said. "These kids are so sharp."

Performance excellence: Yoder said the students are at a level of excellence that deserves the opportunity to sing at renowned places such as Carnegie Hall when possible.

"It's such a memorable experience," he said. "They work so hard on the music and they put so much time in."

On Friday, students will have a chance to sing in front of the other choirs and have clinics with nationally recognized choral directors, Yoder said. Saturday will be the culminating performance.

And in a week after the Carnegie Hall concert, 49 of the choir members will travel to Paris to take part in another festival, which will include singing "Requiem" in the Church of the Madeleine, where composer Gabriel Fauré wrote the famous piece.

Yoder said experiences like these two trips, which showcase the work of the students, are what have kept him and assistant director Michal Buchanan involved for all 16 years of the senior honors choir, which students participate in on top of their individual school performances.

"These are all dedicated singers who do it because they want to," he said.

— Reach Nikelle Snader at nsnader@yorkdispatch.com.