For many students atBooker T. WashingtonHigh School music is their life.  That rings true for 15-year-old Chase Dobson.  The high school sophomore has several compositions under his belt, including one that’s about to take the spotlight on a very big stage.  

“The piece is called Finestra which is the Italian word for window.”

Dobson was inspired by an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art.  You could call it serendipity.  Dobson and the rest of the school’s Varsity Strings Orchestra have been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City.   He and his class can hardly wait.

“There are some professional orchestras that don't get to play there, and the fact that our orchestra gets to play there is just mind blowing,” says fellow student Morgan Mitchell.

For these students the trip preparation has been as challenging as the music.  Aside from practice, they've had to learn how to raise a lot of money in a short amount of time.  The trip cost is $70,000; so far the group has raised $52,000.

“Unfortunately, our teachers are very aware of the budget constraints that we live within right now,” says Principal Tracie Fraley.  “There was no expectation.”

Orchestra teacher David Large understood the situation.  “The money is tighter this year, so it has been a lot of extra work.”

The students have met the challenge and gone full force on fundraising. .

“We've had to play a lot of gigs and concerts,” says Junior Allie Stewart.  “We've had a lot of fundraisers to try to raise money for all of us to go.”

The orchestra has until the end of April to meet their goal.  The performance is on May 5th.

Here’s how you can help.


Booker T. Washington’s Varsity String Orchestra will debut at Carnegie Hall in New York City on May 5th, 2012!  The orchestra is performing a special Dallas Preview Concert in preparation for their Carnegie Hall performance and we want you to join us!