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Choir singers will belt out tunes in NYC

6/12/2014

By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN

By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN

dobrien@dailynews.net

Johnny Matlock and Tracy Resseguie try to think of something new each year to give their choirs the chance to perform together.

They might have outdone themselves this year.

The Hays High School Chamber Singers will get to perform in Carnegie Hall, see a Broadway show, attend a Major League Baseball game and take a cruise -- all in five days time.

The HHS group left town Wednesday on a five-day trip to New York that will include joining the choir from Staley (Mo.) High School and two choirs from New Jersey in performing a 40-minute composition called "Requiem for the Living," by Dan Forest in Carnegie Hall.

Matlock, vocal director at Hays High, and Resseguie, choir director at Staley, have performed on Martin Luther King Jr. Day twice at United Methodist Church in Hays.

Last year, they all met in Kansas City, Mo., for their annual concert, this time at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, an Episcopal parish in downtown Kansas City.

That's when they started planning a bigger trip for 2014.

After hosting several fundraisers throughout the year, the Hays group will begin its action-packed stay in New York today.

In addition to rehearsals, the students and their entourage will watch the Broadway show "Newsies" and catch a New York Mets baseball game.

Following their Sunday afternoon concert in Carnegie Hall, they will take part in a post-concert celebration cruise to see the lights of New York City.

The Chamber Singers have been having one rehearsal a week since school ended.

"They're starting to get pretty excited about it," Matlock said last week of his 28 students who make up the Chamber Singers.

The Chamber Singers take a trip every other year, and this will be the first time in 25 years that a Hays High group has performed in Carnegie Hall.

"I think it will be a great experience," Matlock said. "Really looking forward to it."