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Quitman choir ready for Carnegie Hall

By By Steve Swogetinsky/The Meridian Star
Feb. 14, 2001
QUITMAN For a musician, performing at Carnegie Hall in New York City is a once-in-a-lifetime dream. For some students at Quitman High School, that dream will come true within three weeks.
For the past 16 years, the school's Superior choirs have traveled to the Big Apple to perform at the country's premier music hall.
Fifty-two members of the Quitman High School chorus will make the trip. The trip costs $1,200 per student and while there were some fund-raisers, those going had to pay their way.
Earlier this year, the choir auditioned by tape and was selected to perform. They received the music that is to be performed, and started practicing.
The choir will perform two Latin works, one from the Classical period and one from the Renaissance. They will also perform three numbers by 20th century composers, including a traditional spiritual. While at Carnegie Hall, they will be under the direction of Rodney Eichenburger, director of choral music at Florida State University.
They leave for New York City on Thursday, March 1, perform on Sunday night, March 4, and will be home late Monday, March 5. They will be staying at the New Yorker, down the street from Carnegie Hall.
Their first practice will be the afternoon of their second day in New York. In between, there are dinner plans at a restaurant in Little Italy and a lot of sightseeing.
On the second night, the Clarke Countians will take in "The Phantom of the Opera" on Broadway. On the third night, they'll take a cruise of New York Harbor, and on Sunday morning, they'll visit Liberty Island and the Empire State Building.
The tradition of Carnegie Hall trips was started by Rose Longwitz, who retired last year after directing the choir for 28 years.
While the Quitman students usually join their peers to from across the country and become a part of a mass choir for the Carnegie Hall appearance, the Quitman choir also performed a solo concert on their last visit to New York and made an appearance on the "Today Show."
Majure said not only are choir members getting ready for the New York trip, they will also compete Feb. 22 at a district choir festival at Jones Junior College.
She said the group will present a concert for the community later this year.
Steve Swogetinsky is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at sswogetinsky@themeridianstar.com.

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