The most common answer to the age-old question, "How do you get to the Olympics?" has always been "practice." Unfortunately, there's a second answer, "Money."
Members of the William Tennent chorus achieved the first part when their audition tape to the 2012 Olympics in London. According to the brochure posted on choral director Tyrone Dinkins' teacher page on the Centennial School District web site, the group will arrive in Dublin, Ireland, on August 2 and spend a couple days performing and sightseeing, then travel to London on August 4. The singers will perform at several venues and tour the city until August 9, when they return home.
It's not cheap to cover international airfare, hotel rooms, meals and transportation for seven days. The cost has been calculated to about $4,000 per student, and Dinkins, his singers and their parents are working hard to raise the money.
Hopefully, a big boost will come from the Madrigal Singers's performance during the NBC 10! Show Tuesday morning. The group treated the studio audience and home viewers with a stirring rendition of "Jolly Old St. Nicholas," rearranged and titled "Nikolai."
"We're very thankful for this opportunity," said madrigal singer Daniel McGorrey, minutes before the group rehearsed their performance on the NBC 10! Show stage. "We perform so much together, I don't think the cameras will make us nervous or anything."
Fellow madrigal member Gwnedolyn Raczak is equally excited about the summer trip and the group's chance to represent the school.
"It's going to be a great experience to sing with other people from all over ther world," said Raczak. "We've received a lot of school support and some very generous donations."
The chorus' fundraising efforts got off to a rocky start, including an October benefit dinner at the new Mad Mex Restaurant in Willow Grove that was canceled and a school flea market in November that has been postponed to March. A freshman member of the group, Kelsey Timte, held her own in October at the in Upper Southampton.
The group is currently selling t-shirts and sweatshirts to help the cause, while the schedule for larger fundraising events in the spring is finalized. Dinkins plans to have the flea market in March, as well as a large scavenger hunt. Individual donations can also be made at any time by following this link.
The trip to the NBC 10! Show studio also provided Tennent teacher Tim Walker a chance to show students from the school's video and digital production class the behind-the-scenes action of a television production.
"They run all the equipment and production for the school's morning announcements," said Walker. "This is a great opportunity to see how it is done at the professional level."
Walker also plans to bring some of his video production students on the Olympic trip and have them film the experience.