The Middletown High School group received the Gold Award at the New York Invitational Music Festival

The Middletown High School Advanced Choir performed at the New York Invitational Music Festival at Carnegie Hall March 20, an event the school’s music director calls magical, inspiring, and monumental for the students.

About 70 students from Middletown High went to New York City for the festival, stayed overnight, and performed at Carnegie Hall. The show lasted two-and-a-half hours with an awards ceremony.

“It was a magical experience. It was monumental to say the least,” said Rocky Tejada, Middletown High’s choral director. “It was a very inspiring experience for them to be able to sing in an iconic hall.”

About five ensembles performed, each lasting 20 minutes. The Middletown High group sang four songs, including “Even When He Is Silent,” “She Walks in Beauty,” “Wade in de Water,” and “Nyon, Nyon.”

“Our students sounded truly celestial. I have never heard our choir sing with such a full, rich tone and with such vibrancy and expression,” said Dr. Veronica B. Perrine, assistant principal at Middletown High.

“It was truly an amazing performance and there was not a dry eye in the house. [Parents] were just beaming! Our choir received a rating of gold for this once in a lifetime performance,” Perrine said.

The trip was partially funded by the coffee house that the choir and parent boosters sponsored in the fall and the remainder of the trip was paid by the individual students attending and performing.

It was the first time the choral group from Middletown had been to the by-invitation event, which not only benefited the students, but gave Tejada the opportunity to collaborate with other music teachers from across the country.

The New York Invitational Music Festival was established to allow young musicians the opportunity to perform on one of the world's greatest stages, the Isaac Stern Auditorium / Ronald O. Perelman Stage in the famed Carnegie Hall, said the festival’s website.

This educational music festival was designed to enhance the performance ability of students through master classes delivered by nationally known clinicians while experiencing the musical prowess of Broadway musicians, said the website.