MCDONOUGH, Ga. - A high school choir in Henry County just got a once in a lifetime invitation to sing at Carnegie Hall but, the choir has more than 170 students, and they can't all afford to make the trip.
"We are one of the most crazy families you will meet in your entire existence and we come from all walks of life," said student Edward Fairley.
This family, also known as the Ola High School choir, is nearly 170 students strong. It's all run by director Mindy Forehand who creates a special place where students can really shine.
"I remember high school being hard," said Mindy Forehand the choir. "I didn't have that place in high school. I loved choir, I loved to sing, but I didn't have that place, and so I was determined to give that to my kids," she said.
In six years, grown the choir from 50 students to where it is today, even working with students in middle and elementary schools to get them interested in the program before they get to high school. With all that hard work, she and her students scored an unbelievable invitation to perform at Carnegie Hall next June.
"Once in a million, and hundreds of thousands of conductors want this for their choirs, and we have it," said Forehand. "We have the invite."
"To be invited as just your group, that says something about us as a group, us as individuals, Ms. Forehand as a teacher, that is so powerful," said Fairley.
But, that opportunity comes with a cost to the tune of $1,700 per student for airfare, lodging, and transportation.
"I am determined to get every kid there because it's that incredible of an opportunity," said Forehand.
Money is the only reason these students can't go, and that's a reality the students wished they didn't have to face.
"It shouldn't be, 'Oh the kids with money should get to go,'" said senior Elisabeth Elmore. "I feel like everyone deserves the opportunity to go and sing in this amazing venue," said Elmore.
At this point, the students won't be able to make the trip because it's just too expensive, but this choir director said she won't give up on raising money for this dedicated group and hopes the community will help.
"I am all about changing lives," said Forehand. "I am all about giving kids a reason to show up everyday and have purpose in life, and this, this will be the most monumental moment of their lives," she said.
Students said with help from the community, they're hoping this chance for greatness, to sing on the nation's greatest stage, won't become a dream deferred.
"There's an old saying that, 'It takes a village to raise a child' and believe it or not, you are part of that village, and this little bit, you have no idea what it can do and the effects it will have on someone," said Fairley.
If you would like to help, click HERE for more information. Please send all payments via PayPal to OHSCarnegie2021@gmail.com. You can donate to students until the performance in June 2021. Questions? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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