Reaching Heights sponsors Severance Hall student concert

Heights High musicians performing in Reaching Musical Heights at Severance Hall in 2011. Photo by Carl Jenks.

More than 450 student musicians from all of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights public schools will have the rare opportunity to perform onstage at Severance Hall on February 24. Geoffrey Golden, a Heights High graduate and the recent seventh-season winner of "Sunday Best," a televised gospel soloist competition, will speak and perform.

Reaching Musical Heights, a quadrennial project of Reaching Heights, is also a gala benefit for the organization. The event brings student vocalists and instrumentalists from the CHUH elementary and middle schools and the high school to the Severance Hall stage. Remembering the 2007 and 2011 performances, John Hubbard, Reaching Heights board president, “Listening and watching our young people perform so well together in this amazing hall is overwhelming. This concert should not to be missed.”

Planning began a year ago, as did fundraising to cover the expenses of rehearsal and performance space at Severance Hall, music and production costs, and advertising and promotional expenses. “It truly is a community event," said event chair Kim Conklin, "and I am so grateful to all the volunteers and donors who will make this event memorable for the performers and the audience!”

This event showcases not only the remarkable talents of the student musicians, but also the skill and dedication of the school district’s music faculty. During rehearsals, students learn about the history of Severance Hall and its remarkable acoustics. They also learn about the Cleveland Orchestra and the work ethic of its members. “It would be a shame for our children who live so close to the [Cleveland] Orchestra and its concert hall not to have this experience,” said Lisa Hunt, Reaching Heights assistant director.

This event is partially funded by the residents of Cuyahoga Country through a Cuyahoga Arts & Culture grant. Concert tickets are available for $10 to $30 at, or by calling the Severance Hall box office at 216-231-1111. Benefit tickets ($90 to $250) are available from Reaching Heights at or by calling 216-932-5110.

Krista Hawthorne

Krista Hawthorne is the executive director of Reaching Heights.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 4:09 PM, 01.29.2015