COCKE COUNTY—The Cocke County High Big Red Fire Choir will hold their spring concert this Friday, May 7 at 6 p.m. in the CCHS auditorium.
The group will be singing a varied song selection for the night with songs ranging from a cover of “Run to You” by the group Pentatonix, some standard modern choral literature, and the second half of the concert will feature choreographed song selections from the movie The Greatest Showman.
There will be a dessert/cake auction at intermission of the concert and the group will also be accepting any and all donations towards their goal of raising $130,000 for their concert residency in New York City at Carnegie Hall.
This event is the first official fundraising opportunity towards their ambitious fundraising goal.
In March of this year, the choir was sent a letter of invitation to perform in concert at Carnegie Hall on June 25, 2022. The performance will feature a combination of 250 singers across a span of ages covering multiple decades. This concert will also be in collaboration with the New England Symphonic Ensemble and world-class soloists as part of the 39th Season with MidAmerica Productions.
“I gathered all 85 of my choral students together in our newly renovated auditorium space to break the big news and their reaction is one I will not soon forget,” said Amanda Short, choral director.
“Some students were crying, some fell in the floor and hugged one another, some ran and jumped up in other members arms, some just sat there with their jaws on the floor, some screamed and clapped their hands with excitement, and I am very thankful to have one of our administrators, Mrs. Nancy Brawley, who came in and made a video of the students and their reactions. I have done some research and I am pretty safe in stating that an event this big has never come to the choral program at CCHS. So, a recording of this moment in time is something I will always treasure.”
The biggest challenge and reality of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is the costs involved for each student who will be part of the choir for the coming school year.
In the current semester, there are 85 singers as student members of the choirs, and if every member were to go on this trip there would be a base cost of $1,549 (which does not include airfare or meals while there) per student. That means the overall cost to send the choir is almost $132,000.
Short said that many students will not be able to travel to New York City for various reasons, but she doesn’t want the costs associated with the trip to be a deterrent.
“I will have students move schools, have parents/guardians that will not allow their child/student to travel to New York City, some may decide to take on internships or be working jobs, and some of my seniors will not be able to make this work with their schedules in college, the work-force, or wherever they may be next June of 2022. I am of the mindset that I do not want cost to the student to be a factor of determining whether they are able to participate in this prestigious event, which will no doubt be a momentous occasion for all involved.”
If you donate to the CCHS Big Red Fire Choir: Spreading Joy from Tennessee to NYC event your name/company or business will be displayed in the concert programs for the 2021-2022 concert season. Donors will also receive a “thank you” posting on multiple social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok) in appreciation of their gift over the next year.
In addition, they will be placing all donors of $1,000 or more on the back of their NYC event specific shirts that will be made for all choir members and chaperones accompanying the choir to NYC. These shirts will be available for purchase by community members, alumni of CCHS, and others as part of the fundraising initiative for the trip.
If you are interested in helping out the youth of Cocke County get to Carnegie Hall, please write all checks out to Cocke County High School with “CCHS Choir to NYC: Carnegie Hall” listed in the memo. They hope to have an online giving system set up and running as soon as possible for future donations.