'It's something to work for' Chorus: Members of the Broadneck Senior High School concert group are trying to raise $10,400 for a performance at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

November 14, 1996|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

For two months, Kristina Pieper has knocked on doors and made telephone calls selling Christmas wreaths and pizza kits to anyone who would listen to her sales pitch.

The Broadneck Senior High School junior and 40 other members of the school's concert chorus have been peppering Arnold and Annapolis neighborhoods with fliers and door-to-door campaigns to raise $10,400 for a February performance at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

"It's something to work for," said Kristina, 16, who sings soprano. "It's exciting."

Students have earned about $2,000 through their fund-raising efforts, said chorus director Jane Daugherty. The deadline to confirm the engagement is Dec. 15.

But the chorus members are optimistic that they will raise enough money by the deadline.

"It's a lot of fun, and we'll reach our goal," said Amy Reese, 16, a senior soprano.

"I think we all want it too much to let it go," Kristina said.

The chorus and eight other high school groups nationwide received invitations in September to the annual convention Feb. 8 and 9 of the National Association of Performing Arts Educators, said Matthew Straub, director of the association, which is based in Gettysburg, Pa.

Broadneck was chosen to replace a chorus in Florida after its director had a serious car accident in the summer, Straub said. He said Broadneck was highly recommended by friends who live in Maryland.

"From what I've heard, they're very professional," Straub said. "They're capable of doing the heavy classics, but they can also please a wide variety of people with other songs."

While the chance to perform in the legendary concert hall speaks for itself, the chorus had not budgeted money to pay for the trip, Daugherty said. She had planned a major trip to an international music festival in Nashville, Tenn., in April.

"To do two major trips in one year is a huge expense," said Daugherty, the 1993 county Teacher of the Year and a 1994 winner of the Agnes Meyer Outstanding Educator Award. "But I sent letters to the families [of chorus members], and we decided that this is an experience that the kids might not get on their own. It's a memory for the kids."

So Daugherty mailed 200 letters to area businesses and organizations, asking for contributions to help defray the $260-per-student cost. Companies such as J. C. Penney have given the chorus proceeds from discount coupons the students handed out, while groups such as Sons of the Severn, a male barbershop chorus, have performed at fund-raisers with the Broadneck chorus.

The Red Hot and Blue restaurant on Old Mill Bottom Road in Annapolis will donate 10 percent of checks of customers using coupons distributed by chorus members.

Daugherty said she has been heartened by contributions, even a few $10 checks from employees of companies that maintain a no-donation policy.

"I'm encouraged by the support that we've been getting," she said. "This community usually comes through, and I believe that people and businesses will help us out if they can."

Meanwhile, the chorus members are preparing for the trip, arriving at school 45 minutes before the first class of the day to practice such musical selections as "Lullaby of Birdland" and "O Mio Bambino Caro" from "Gianni Schicchi" by Puccini.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience," said Theresa Bettinger, 17, a senior soprano.

"It's like a dream come true," said Brandon Yocum, 16, a sophomore tenor.

Contribution checks payable to Broadneck High School Music Boosters may be sent to the school, Attn: Music Boosters/Carnegie Hall, 241 Peninsula Farm Road, Arnold 21012.

Pub Date: 11/14/96

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