date with destiny

The Beatles performed there in 1964.

So did Chuck Berry with Jerry Lee Lewis and Judy Garland.

This spring about 130 students from Franklin Community High School will stand on the stage at Carnegie Hall in New York, where some of the biggest acts in the past 100 years have performed to New York audiences.

They will perform a world premiere song with other choirs and take the stage on their own.

“People know when you say ‘Carnegie Hall,’ what that is,” said Michael Hummel, choral director at the school.

For Franklin students and staff, getting to the big stage only took one step. They asked Choirs of America if they would accept them playing at Carnegie Hall.

‘When our tour agent asked for us, they didn’t hesitate to say yes. They knew of our reputation as one of the finest choirs in Indiana. I don’t know how, but they did,” he said.

The once-in-a-lifetime trip began to take shape.

Andrea Bennett, choir accompanist, traveled to Carnegie Hall when she was a student. She hasn’t forgotten a moment of her time there, she said.

“I remember everything about it,” she said. “All of these famous people have performed at Carnegie Hall.”

While at the Carnegie Hall, they will work with other choirs they are performing with to sing a world premiere piece. Later, Franklin will perform on their own in a “Spotlight” performance.

Hummel tries to take his students on one big educational trip a year.

Getting the students to New York might not be as easy as getting a performance time there.

The trip cost $1,300 per student. The price tag for the trip includes renting buses to get the students to the city, hotel costs, some meals and extras, such as a Broadway show and dinner cruise.

Each of the 130 students and the many chaperones can raise funds to get the initial cost of the trip down.

The fee to make the trip is on top of the $550 fee each choir student pay to be in choir. That money goes toward costumes and performance fees.

They have sold poinsettias, candles, butter braids, popcorn and gift cards in an effort to make the trip affordable for all students who want to go, said Hummel.

Hummel said he hopes that all of the students who have signed up for the trip will be able to go.

“The goal is, we don’t do anything unless we can fund raise,” Hummel said. “We have fund raised so much this year.”

The popularity of the trip will ensure that Franklin will have a good showing.

At first, Hummel just wanted to fill one bus of 55 people. Soon, more than 100 students had signed up to go.

Magen Kritsch is an editorial assistant at the Daily Journal. She can be reached at or 317-736-2770.