SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Young South Florida music students gave back to their community in the form of a concert at a shopping mall, two months before a hard-earned trip to the Big Apple that will become a reality thanks in large part to a South Florida superstar whose name is synonymous with music in Miami.
The South Florida Youth Symphony and the Miami Dade College Orchestra offered shoppers at Dadeland Mall some sounds of the season, Saturday.
They need the practice. The students earned an invitation to Carnegie Hall for the National Youth Musical Festival in February.
They set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for the trip, about $40,000 for as many as 35 young musicians.
“Many of our kids are from underprivileged families, and many are from multi-children families and can’t afford the cost of this trip, so we’ve been reaching out to the community,” said Marjorie Hahn, the South Florida Youth Symphony’s executive and musical director.
Students said the response was beyond anything anyone expected.
Hahn made a special announcement to the students at the mall. “A very, very special person that we all know has come forward to help fund most of what is left of our trip,” Hahn said to the students, who erupted in cheers.
Nearly the entire amount, $35,500, was donated by the Gloria Estefan Foundation. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that these musicians are thrilled to be able to experience.
“It’s outstanding for everyone, because it helps financially with everyone, because the trip is very expensive,” said musician Gianluca Nagaro. “It was troublesome to get all the money, but now that we have this large amount of donation, we can all go as an orchestra.”
And when the biggest ambassador of the Miami sound, a global superstar, is helping to make their trip to New York City possible, it makes the experience that much sweeter.
“This donation? Oh, my God. I was really surprised,” said musician Ariana Rejas. “I love it. Thank you to everyone who helped us.”
So, while shoppers picked up those last-minute gifts, these musicians know practice is their best roadmap to Carnegie Hall.
The students said they’re grateful for Gloria Estefan’s foundation for making sure they get there.
“This trip is going to be amazing,” said Rejas. “I can’t wait!”
The South Florida Youth Symphony is in its 52nd year.
When the musicians head to New York to perform in February, they plan to squeeze in a little time for sightseeing and a Broadway show.
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