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Young musicians get opportunity of a lifetime
Rochester, N.Y. - All the countless hours of practice have paid off for a group of local students.
Their music will reach far beyond the halls of the Hochstein School of Music, to France.
"Just to be there, to see it with my own eyes and the culture," Churchville-Chili High School junior Natalie Jackson said.
The ensemble was invited to represent New York State on a nine day tour to perform at the American Celebration of Music to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
"It's a good way to show them the music that we have from America and what we have at the Hochstein School," Rush-Henrietta High School senior Brandon Keough said.
And while troops stormed the beaches of Normandy before these kids were born, for Brighton High School senior, Ty Joseph, remembering D-Day has a special meaning.
"For my family personally, I had 14 family members who served in World War Two and several of them took part in the invasion of D-Day," said Joseph.
Joseph is one of four students who will lay a wreath at the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach in honor of their ancestors.
"So it's pretty big for them, it's pretty big for me," Joseph said.
"This is a great testament to our students to provide this opportunity for them and to kind of show, not only the Rochester community but to show our friends overseas how talented these kids are and the great musical opportunities we have in this area," Hochstein Youth Symphony Orchestra Director Casey Springstead said.
This is the second major cross cultural opportunity for this group.
They performed a live video exchange in February with Rochester's sister city Alytus and its youth orchestra in Lithuania.
The HYSO was invited by the mayors of Paris and Caen and the Department of Defense Office of Commemorations and Music Celebrations International.
The group traveled to Normandy ten years ago.
The group leaves Friday.