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Sandy Creek Central show choir raising funds for Boston competition

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SANDY CREEK — With three years of first- and second-place awards from state competitions under their belts, members of the Sandy Creek Central School show choir are singing all the way to Boston, Mass.

But before the 22-member choir, its director, Sandy J. Kinney, and chaperones take off for the March 28 to 30 event, they’re seeking the financial support of the community to help them reach their goal of placing high at a national competition.

“It’s a little intimidating going from a local competition to a national one,” said Anita R. Glenister, a three-year member of the choir. “You can talk to almost everyone in show choir and they’re psyched.”

She said the choir has worked hard over the past 10 months to raise funds to travel to the Boston Heritage Music Festival. A spaghetti dinner, dinner theater, pizza fundraiser and Ponderosa fundraisers, among others, have helped cover the approximately $500-per-student cost of the trip. That amount includes the competition fee, hotel stay, transportation and some meals.

While students have put up some of their own money for the trip, the show choir also sponsored a craft fair and bake sale from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Sandy Creek United Methodist Church, 2301 Harwood Drive. Proceeds were totaled from admission donations, booth fees from the 29 vendors and the sale of baked goods and light lunch items.

While most vendors kept all profits, Melisa Nelson, owner of Treat Bites Dog Bakery, Sandy Creek, donated half of the proceeds from music-note-shaped dog treats to the choir.

Mrs. Kinney said all of the support the community has shown in the past year is what keeps the ninth- through 12th-grade students’ momentum going. She said she and choir members thank the community for helping to sponsor their trip to Boston.

“We wouldn’t be able to go without these fundraisers,” she said. “I felt like it was time to do something new; the students earned that.”

Not every student can just sign up for show choir. They have to earn a spot after an audition process, said Mrs. Kinney, who also is the school’s music teacher.

“I look for someone who’s willing to go above their comfort zone and kind of be one with the choir,” she said. “I see a lot of people come out of their shells. Even the most timid who do try out, I see they can grow from this.”

In addition to the choir moving out of its comfort zone from performing at Darien Lake the past three years, the group is taking on another challenge: singing three a capella songs in Boston. Choreography will be implemented soon, said Miss Glenister, 16, a junior.

Songs the show choir will perform in Boston are “Some Nights” by fun., “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” which was made popular in “The Wizard of Oz,” and “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz.

Gabriella C. Guarasce, 17, said she joined show choir in 2013 because she wanted to do something new in her senior year.

“I love it,” she said. “I like giving it your all for something you practiced for so long.”

To win the Boston Heritage Music Festival would be “amazing,” she said.

The community can see exactly where its donations have gone when the show choir performs its Boston lineup in June here. Until then, anyone who would like to help fund the choir trip can send donation inquiries to skinney@sccs.cnyric.org.

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