Lake Elsinore band headed to Carnegie Hall as only middle school at prestigious festival

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. (KABC) -- There's some extra pep in the steps of the Elsinore Middle School Tiger Roar Band these days.

Students in the Tiger Roar band are getting ready for the trip of a lifetime to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Needless to say, many of the students aren't only excited at their invitation to the New York International Music Festival next year. They're absolutely stunned.

"I honestly didn't know what Carnegie was," said student Jacob Mendez. "But then learning more about it, it's just mind-boggling."

Perhaps even more mind-boggling is that the middle school isn't even supposed to be going to the festival. Because typically only high schools are accepted at the invitation-only event.

"I thought, why not try," said band director Jeannine Dinger, who explained how some of the organizers of next year's event were even surprised.

"The staff contacted me when they were doing their program, and said 'I think we have a misprint, because our information says Elsinore middle school,' and I said, 'yes, that is correct,' and they said 'What? ... We thought you were a high school.'"

Organizers of the music festival told Eyewitness News that Elsinore is the only middle school invited to the festival this year.

Now it's just a matter of how to pay for the big trip.

"It's going to cost thousands of dollars. Even to ship our instruments back east is going to cost so much money," said Dinger.

"We're just hoping the community and valley come together and help us out."

The trip is scheduled for April 7-11, 2020. Supporters have set up a fundraiser on GoFundMe to help pay for the trip.
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