Festival of trees

A special fundraiser event at the Wakefield Civic Center will provide an opportunity for the community to help support some music students headed to Carnegie Hall this April for a performance.
A “Festival of Trees” will be hosted at the Civic Center on Saturday, Dec. 3 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. for a free will donation.
Visitors will be able to vote on trees in the following categories: “Best Traditional,” “Most Creative,” and “Fan Favorite” = and while browsing can take part in crafts for kids, a hot chocolate bar and listen to some local musical talents.
New to this year’s Festival will be a taco plate, made by Tacos Valenzuela. Tickets are available at the door for supper, and the Center’s bar will be open as well.
The group hopes to include raffle and silent auction items, with those winners being announced at the end of the event. Those who contribute the winning decorated trees to the Festival will receive an ornament as their prize.
As previously reported, three students: Mikke Mogus, sophomore; Jack Pommer, junior; and Joaquin Chavez-German, sophomore; along with their instructor Esly Ovando will be traveling to, and performing at Carnegie Hall in New York City from April 26-30.
The dates have changed from the previous report due to low registration numbers for the Howard Goodall concert at Carnegie Hall.
On April 29th, there will be two acts.
The Mozart Requiem under the direction of Dr. Kenny Potter at Carnegie Hall and a world premiere by Bradley Ellingboe at Carnegie Hall under Ellingboe direction.
Students will be performing under Bradley Ellingboe and Ovando will be performing under the direction of both Bradley Ellingboe and Dr. Kenny Potter.
Bradley Ellingboe is an award-winning composer and arranger of choral music, with over 150 pieces in print. His works have been heard across the United States, Europe, and Asia. He has won annual awards in composition from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers.  For his work on making the music of Norway better known among English-speaking singers, Ellingboe was awarded The Medal of Saint Olav by His Majesty, King Harald of Norway, in 1994.
Dr. Kenney Potter, Director of Choral Activities and Music Education at Wingate University, holds degrees in music education from Florida State University and Portland State University and a Doctor of Musical Arts in choral conducting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Under his direction, choirs have performed in nationally acclaimed venues as well as abroad, including England, Ireland, Austria, and South Africa. Dr. Potter has a strong personal commitment to preparing teachers for the contemporary classroom, and he was honored to receive the Debra O’Neal Award for excellence in teaching. Prior to his appointment at Wingate, Dr. Potter taught middle and high school chorus in North Carolina public schools for nine years.
“We are very excited to meet various performers from across the U.S.,” said Ovando. “These two guest conductors have incredible careers and to be under their direction will be a challenge but memorable. Performing at Carnegie Hall is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Not only will we all enjoy our experience at Carnegie Hall and New York in general but this experience will help my students become better musicians, myself included.”
The group has also planned a little sightseeing while in New York, hoping to visit the  9/11 memorial, the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, watching a Broadway musical, and hopefully more if time allows.
“I am very appreciative of all the support the community has to offer. Music is a universal language,” said Ovando. “Music supports students' social and emotional well-being. Music helps students/others improve self-motivation and self-confidence. This trip will change everything for us.”
Donations are being accepted in any amount to support the trip, and can be brought to the Festival, or dropped off at the high school office. Notation should be made the donation is for the Carnegie Hall Trip.