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St. Amant High School band set to perform at Carnegie Hall

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ST. AMANT - Students in the top band at St. Amant High school have earned a golden opportunity to travel to the Big Apple for a performance at the most prestigious concert hall in the world.

On Wednesday, the school's Wind Symphony band will head to New York City to play at Carnegie Hall for the National Band and Orchestra Festival. The band auditioned last year for the prestigious gig and was selected out of hundreds of bands who applied.

"I believe we have one of the best bands we've ever had here at St. Amant and truly believe one of the best bands in the state," said Joseph Nassar, one of the band directors. "No matter how high we raise the bar, they just keep jumping over it."

Nassar chose the compositions for this concert months in advance, and the band has been rehearsing nearly every day since January. The band will perform four songs on Friday the first night of the two-day event.

"We're closing out the performance with a relatively new piece called 'Ghost of the Old Year' by James David. It's a 16-minute work for a wind symphony and we're one of the few ensembles that have played this piece," Nassar said.

Many students from the small Ascension Parish town of St. Amant have never experienced the big city before. Senior clarinet player Cadence Cagnalotti said she's looking forward to the trip of a lifetime.

"I've never been to New York, so this is a cool opportunity," Cagnalotti said.

Aside from the big performance, the students will get to experience all of the typical New York sightseeing. They have plans to take a dinner cruise of New York Harbor, view the 9/11 Memorial and see "Wicked" on Broadway.

"I'm just looking forward to giving these kids from the small town of St. Amant a chance to experience the big city and to perform on what is widely regarded as the premiere stage in the world," Nassar said.

The band's performance will not be livestreamed for public viewing, Nassar added.

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