Thank you, YouTube. That could well be the motto over the next year for members of the Clintonville Community Choir.
Correction: The Dec. 13 print and earlier online version of this story incorrectly described Distinguished Concerts International New York. It is a for-profit organization.
Thank you, YouTube.
That could well be the motto over the next year for members of the Clintonville Community Choir.
The 14-year-old nonprofit organization, whose 83 singers come from throughout central Ohio, has been invited to participate in a large-scale performance of Handel's "Messiah" on Dec. 1, 2019, by Distinguished Concerts International New York. Now in its 10th year of putting on musical performances, Distinguished Concerts will stage the show at either Carnegie Hall or in Lincoln Center, according to the announcement from the organization.
"They're both historic venues," said Ryan Jenkins, the community choir's artistic director. "Either hall is fantastic."
The invitation was extended by Distinguished Concerts representatives, Jenkins said, after they came across a YouTube video of the group singing the famed piece often referred to as the Hallelujah Chorus.
"What they do is they take about 20 community choirs, about 400 singers, from a pool of applicants and put together a massive chorus to put on the 'Messiah' with a full professional orchestra," Jenkins said.
"The Clintonville Community Choir received this invitation because of the quality and high level of musicianship demonstrated by the singers as well as the quality of their audition recording," Jonathan Griffith, co-founder and principal conductor for Distinguished Concerts International New York, said in a news release.
"It is quite an honor to perform in New York. ... This is an event of extreme pride for everybody and deserving of the community's recognition and support," he said.
Financial support for the trip will be needed, Jenkins said. A GoFundMe page, tinyurl.com/clintonvillechoirnyc, has been started to help pay the approximately $1,500 the trip will cost each of the 32 choir members who plan to go. That expense includes the cost for rehearsal space and accompaniment, travel, lodging and food for the trip.
"It feels great," Jenkins said of receiving the invitation. "It's definitely a great opportunity for people in this area to travel to New York City and perform in either one of the great halls in America. As artistic director, it brings me great joy that I'm able to provide this experience for our singers."
"The conductor brought it to us and said, 'Here's an opportunity; we've been invited,' " said Ann O'Halloran, a Northland resident who joined the choir eight years ago. "It sounded like too much fun."
"We were kind of surprised," said her husband, Mic O'Halloran. "We didn't even know there was a video out there.
"It's just unbelievable. We were pumped."
According to the Distinguished Concerts International New York announcement, the members of the invited choirs will spend five days and four nights in New York preparing for the concert, rehearsing nine to 10 hours a day.
Some time will be set aside for sightseeing, but "the performance is the primary purpose of their visit," the announcement said.
Over the course of the coming year, Jenkins said he would create as many opportunities for Clintonville Community Choir members to sing while accompanied by something closer to a full orchestra.
The choir generally performs with only a pianist, because, Mic O'Halloran said, that's all it can afford.
"We don't actually go out and solicit funds," he said. "We do the best we can. This is the first year we've started a GoFundMe page. It's really our love of music that brings us all together and what propels the group."