A community youth choir soon will perform in one of the nation’s most prestigious concert venues.
The Augusta Youth Chorale left for Washington, D.C., this week to perform Monday in
the National Cathedral as the featured choir for the 2012 Nation’s Capital Festival of Youth Choirs, said chorale Director Mark Nabholz.
Though the group never previously performed at the festival, they received an invitation to sing as the featured choir because they are a community choir, Nabholz said.
“The conference is sponsored by a group called Youth Cue that helps to encourage and build youth choirs across the country,” Nabholz said. “For the last 50 or 75 years, most youth choirs have been based out of a specific church and (is its) youth choir.
“More and more, they said they’re seeing the trend of community-based (choirs) more than individual church-based (choirs), so they wanted us to come as one of the first examples they found of a teen youth choir that’s community-based.”
Participating in the festival will be 27 of the chorale’s 30 members. As the featured choir, they will perform 10 songs with the 250-member mass choir and six pieces themselves, which will feature sacred, traditional and spiritual music.
To get ready for the trip, a lot of preparation was required, including rehearsals each Sunday afternoon.
“We also have been doing a lot of fundraising,” Nabholz said. “(The) students have really jumped in and worked hard on fundraising. We’ve ended up having to raise about $10,000 to fund the trip and they’ve really done a terrific job.”
With much to do once they arrive in the nation’s capital, Nabholz said he is most looking forward to performing in the National Cathedral.
That sentiment is shared by Forrestt Newkirk, 19, of Harlem.
Newkirk is a second-year member of the chorale. She said it’s not just performing in the Cathedral she is looking forward to, but what this performance provides.
“It’s an incredible opportunity for the group and something I’m looking forward to putting in a resume,” she said.