Nelson Civic Choir members are on their way to sing at the New York Carnegie Hall on Sunday. Twenty seven members of the Nelson Civic Choir and patrons are on their way to America to sing New York's prestigious Carnegie Hall.The only choir from this country, the Civic Choir will be part of a 200-strong combined international choir, including the New Jersey Children's Choir. They will sing the world premiere of Walsh composer Sir Karl Jenkins' Cantata Memoria: For the children of Aberfan.Jenkins composed the piece to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan mine disaster in Wales in 1966. A slag heap from a local coal mine collapsed, destroying a school and several cottages, killing 118 children and 28 adults. President of the Nelson Civic Choir Wim Oosterhoff said they will be thinking of the Pike River Mine families as they sing the cantata on Sunday."I let the Pike River group know that we will sing with them in our hearts, since we have had our own mine disaster so recently in this country."Twenty five of the choir were on the same flight leaving Nelson on Wednesday, having rehearsed intensively with conductor Chris Lukies over the past few weeks in order to learn the work by heart. Alto Robin Nelson, who has never been to America before, said she expected it would be overwhelming at first walking into the main Carnegie Hall auditorium, with a professional orchestra, soloists and the children's choir in attendance."I'm looking forward to singing with the mass choir though and after all the effort we've put in as a group to get there, it will be so exciting to finally sing together."After a year of fundraising, which included an art auction, quiz nights, film evenings and crowd funding through Boosted, the group raised $30,000.Soprano Charlotte Reith said they were "immensely grateful" to the community for their generous support, and the fundraising was a great way to get to know other members of the choir.
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