Suppose you were the choir director in the state’s smallest school district—so small that you have to schedule rehearsals around the practices of sports teams because some of your singers also are on those teams.
And then a school secretary tells you there’s a "Doctor Griffith" calling from New York City.
Suppose your name is Jim Spires, choir director at Worth County High School. You’ve been getting letters saying your choir has been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York. "Junk mail," you think and you throw them away. Then there’s the call.
When the caller identified himself as being from Carnegie Hall, Spires accused him of telling a joke and immediately regretted it. The invitation is real.
Doctor Griffith was inviting the Worth County High School Choir to perform at Carnegie Hall on May 19th, appearing with the New England Symphonic Ensemble.
Also on the program with the Worth County Concert Choir is the Carl Junction High School Choirs, the Platte County R-3 High School Choir and the Northwest Missouri State University Tower Choir.
The arrangement was made by Stephen Towne at Northwest Missouri State University who has been chosen as the guest conductor in this year’s Carnegie Hall Performance Series for Outstanding Choirs and Outstanding Directors. Towne was told he could choose several choirs to perform with him. He picked his own and the three high school choirs to perform.
it’s not a free trip. The choir is trying to raise about $1,500 to send each member to Carnegie Hall.
(Our thanks to Karla Hynes and Mark Saylor at KSIB in Creston, Iowa for interviewing Jim Spires for this story.)