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Santa Monica High School students headed to Carnegie Hall



Santa Monica High School.
Santa Monica High School.
Flickr Creative Commons/Joe Wolf

How do music students get to Carnegie Hall? For Santa Monica High schoolers, one of the first steps is a fundraiser.

The school will host a benefit concert at The Broad Stage Tuesday night to raise funds to help send 65 students to Carnegie Hall in April for a new event known as the New York "Sounds of Spring" International Music Festival.

"It's an opportunity for us to perform in one of the greatest performance halls around," said Kevin McKeown, the school's director of bands. "The kids are super excited."

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The Carnegie Hall performance will help mark the 100th anniversary of the school's band program, one of the oldest in California. 

"We looked for something special," McKeown said, adding the event is a high honor. Santa Monica's wind ensemble was invited to the festival as the showcase ensemble. 

To help celebrate the 100th anniversary, the school also purchased new marching band uniforms for the students. 

The benefit concert, which starts at 7 p.m., will feature the Santa Monica High Wind Ensemble with guest artist and Santa Monica High alum Michael Sachs, who plays trumpet for the Cleveland Orchestra. The UCLA Wind Ensemble will also perform. 

Tickets are still available and can be purchased at the Box Office, $25 for adults, $15 for students. Donations are also accepted online. School officials hope to raise at least $25,000 to $30,000 to help cover the high cost of traveling to New York City.