The very old joke goes something like this. “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?”
Though the Franklin High School Madrigal singers didn't know the joke, they certainly understand its meaning. And that is exactly what they are doing to prepare for their performance in May in New York City's famed music hall.
Gilbert's professor Dr, Have-Jong Lee invited them to join with a handful of other select choirs from this region for this honor. The Youngstown State University conductor hand picked them as well as Hickory High School singers, the Stambaugh Chorus, the Dana Chorale and the Shenango Valley Chorale for this trip and performance.
Since the show was originally slated for 2020, seven of Franklin's graduates will also be able to perform. The trip is slated for May so the singers are busy practicing and fundraising.
"Challenging, but doable," said Gilbert who realizes her students are up for the task.
"It's funny that we're so excited about this because it is a funeral march," joked Alyssa Shick during a class last week. "I think it is vocally challenging, but it is a really fun thing to take on, especially because Carnegie Hall is so prestigious. The whole thing is really exciting for us."
"They are so much fun to sing," said Josie Fish. "there is so much range to the songs too," Moravia Beach added.
"We have waited so long," said Grace Turk.
They will be conducting a series of fundraising dinners, the first of which is this Saturday, January 28 at Franklin High School. The dinners have to be take out, but will be prepared by the school's food services crew as well as the singers.
Tickets for the dinners can be purchased for $10 in advance from a Madrigal singer or by calling the Franklin High School office and asking for Bridget Wood. (432-2121 ext. 2233)
They are looking to raise about six grand still and that doesn't include transportation costs that they are hoping to split with other groups going.
They will have two more dinners on February 25 and March 20, but the location for those hasn't been confirmed yet, but Gilbert said it will likely be at a local church.
Donations can be made by sending checks payable to Franklin Area School District, C/O Sarah Gilbert, 236 Pone Lane, Franklin, PA 16323.
They will also be performing with the other chorales at Stambaugh Auditorium in Youngstown on May 10 and 11 with a concert performance on the 12th at 7:30 p.m.