BREVARD COUNTY — Students belonging to the Cocoa High Chorus experienced a once-in-a-lifetime trip to New York to commemorate 9/11 while singing at Carnegie Hall.
Having spent the year fundraising up to $85,000 and rehearsing, all of the hard work was finally paid off as students sang before an audience, which included two survivors from the 9/11 attacks.
“The students were elated; you could see on their faces they were just excited,” said Dr. Misty Martinez, chorus director at Cocoa High School. “Having worked so hard to earn the money to go made all of us appreciate it. It was an incredible experience.”
Attending the “National Fall Sing: Remembering 9/11” concert included 41 students, three of whom graduated earlier this year, and 12 chaperones.
The group left for New York on Oct. 11 and performed on Oct. 14. The Cocoa High Chorus joined two other choirs from North Carolina and South Carolina for an ensemble performance.
“We went to the 9/11 museum the day of the concert, and that was probably one of the most amazing experiences as an educator, just to watch the kids,” Dr. Martinez said. “The night before the concert, we had about an hour where we sat in the rehearsal room at Carnegie Hall, and we talked about the museum and what all of it meant.”
The performance included renditions of “Why We Sing” by Greg Gilpin, “For the Beauty of the Earth” by Greg Gilpin and Folliot S. Pierpoint, “Pilgrim Song” arranged by Ryan Murphy, “Three Patriotic Treasures” arranged by Greg Gilpin, and “Thankful” by Carole Bayer Sager, Davis Foster & Richard Page and arranged by Mark Hayes.
Throughout the trip, while in their Cocoa High Chorus T-shirts, the chorus sang at different landmarks from Grand Central Station to Ellis Island.
“It made it all seem worth it when you could see on their faces that, for the most part, they got it,” Dr. Martinez said. “It was an incredible thing to watch.”
Although the trip to New York may be over, the Cocoa High Chorus will return to its rigorous schedule of rehearsals in time for its winter and spring performances.
For more information, visit www.brevardschools.org/CocoaJRSR.