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Ernest Righetti Choir Students Traveling to New York City to Study, Perform at Carnegie Hall

High school vocal talent is ready to study and perform with one of the greatest contemporary composers at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Fourteen Ernest Righetti students will travel to the famous venue April 4-8. They will work with John Rutter and then perform a concert.

Rutter studied at Cambridge and is viewed as an important English conductor and composer of instrumental, orchestral, opera and children's music. He was also commissioned to write and perform a piece for the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Other career highlights include "Requiem" (1985) and "Magnificat" (1990).

ERHS choir teacher Densie Paulus believes the students will thrive during this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

"I've been doing this a long time and I've never performed at Carnegie Hall,'' Paulus said. "There will be no transition loss. It's Rutter's thing. It's what he created.''

Paulus also knows the engagement is important to shape these young people for the future.

"They will learn social responsibility of behavior, dress, how to treat others and plenty of other important qualities,'' Paulus said.

Student Adriana Mendez said she is ready for the "opportunity." Classmate Nick Paulus agreed, adding "It's going to be amazing and life changing".

The trip, which includes two rehearsals with Rutter, was set up by Paulus and her longtime connections with a tour company. There have been several fundraisers to offset some of the student's traveling costs. Seven or eight other schools from throughout the United States are also attending the event.

The school's choir has 125 to 180 students.

— Kenny Klein is a media affairs coordinator for the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District.

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