ORLANDO, Fla. – Jones High School cherishes many prestigious honors, including participating in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, but now, two of its music groups are New York-bound once again. Jones is one of only three schools in the nation to have its wind ensemble and concert chorus invited to perform at Carnegie Hall at the same time.
While the invitation is an honor, the trip is not free, and the students and staff are working hard through a series of fundraisers, sales
, and special concerts to come up with the funds to finance their journey to the famous New York stage.
"We need to raise lots of money for it. The trip is going to cost about $200,000 between the wind ensemble and the concert choir. We're traveling together, so we need everybody's support. We've been doing fundraisers, and we have fundraisers upcoming," director of bands Jamaal Nicholas said.
As a former Jones choral student, choral director Andrea Green is especially proud of this moment.
"To be able to come back and teach at my school and take my students to Carnegie Hall, where only the best of the best perform, is an opportunity that I think will change them for a lifetime," Green said.
This is an opportunity full of firsts for many of the students.
"I've only seen pictures, but I feel like when I actually walk on the stage and feel the floors, it's going to be really overwhelming," Jonathan Grant, a senior in the choir, said.
"Everyone in the band is very enthusiastic, and we're thrilled to go because it's a life-changing experience," Johnta Barber, a sophomore percussionist, said.
As they continue their rigorous rehearsals, Nicholas and Green keep reminding the students what lies ahead.
"I told them yesterday this is the most significant concert I've ever conducted. I know in their young musical lives, it's one of the most significant concerts they've played so far, but I expressed to them if this is their starting point, they really have no limits," Nicholas said.
The concert is coming up in April. Find out more about their fundraising efforts at https://joneshighschoolfoundation.com/.
You can show support for their upcoming concert and dinner this Saturday, January 20, at https://joneshighschoolfoundation.com/.