Windsor

Windsor children's choir to perform at Carnegie Hall

When Erin Armstrong submitted an application for her children's choir to perform at Carnegie Hall, she knew competition would be tough.

Opportunity to perform at historic New York venue means a lot, director says

Music Moves Kids Choir will be performing at New York's Carnegie Hall on May 28. (Melissa Nakhavoly/CBC)

When Erin Armstrong submitted an application for her children's choir to perform at Carnegie Hall, she thought it would be a long shot.

"Whenever you're talking New York City — and when you're talking Carnegie Hall  — you're talking a lot of applications. And you're usually not anticipating that you'll be the one that's chosen," said Armstrong, the director of Music Moves Kids choir.

But then she received a response from the committee in New York, congratulating her choir for being chosen to join well-known composer John Rutter as he conducts his Mass of the Children next year.

"Opportunities like this are not that easy to come by," Armstrong said.

"This means a lot to any performer. It's a great opportunity not too many people get."

'The best time of my life'

The choir is made up of children and teens from across Windsor and Essex county. The youngest of the bunch who'll be gracing the Carnegie Hall stage is six-year-old Braeya Slauenwhite.

"I'm really excited," Slauenwhite said.

Choir member Julia Martin remembered the precise moment she found out the good news.

"I was just like, 'Oh my gosh, I'm going to New York!' This is going to be the best time of my life," Martin said.

The local Music Moves Kids choir will be performing alongside composer John Rutter at Carnegie Hall next year. They've set up a GoFundMe page to help with travel expenses. (Melissa Nakhavoly/CBC)

For the choir to perform at the prestigious venue, they're required to pay a performer's fee. Given that they also have to cover travel expenses, the choir is turning to GoFundMe for support.

"We're hoping to raise 500 to 1,000 dollars per child — which won't cover all the costs, but will make a difference", explained Armstrong.

So far, two donations have been made toward their $30,000 goal, she said.

"It's always fun and exciting to find out people are rallying behind you," Armstrong said. 

Memorial Day performance

The group plans to travel to New York from Windsor by bus to help cut costs. They will be spending four days in New York, with the big performance day scheduled for Memorial Day Monday in 2018.

The choir will also be hosting a number of fundraising performances in the new year. 

"They'll get to be at a venue that houses some of the best performers in the world and that showcases what real dedication to a craft looks like," Armstrong said.