As more than 30 young, clear voices were raised in song, the music reverberated from the walls and filled the room.

They weren't in Carnegie Hall, but some of the students have had the honor of performing there in the past. The ensemble has also performed at other venues in New York City and in Los Angeles. Last summer, the students entertained at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

The members of the choir ensemble at Clearview Regional High School in Mullica Hill are an elite group of 42 students hand-selected from the school's 200-plus choir for their musical abilities.

The students were rehearsing for a concert Wednesday during the school's Second Annual Arts Week, showcasing the talent of its Visual and Performing Arts Department.

Under the tutelage of Jack Hill, the students have been working since September on the piece they will perform, Lux Aeterna by Morton Lauridsen. But hard work is nothing new to these students.

"The kids know they have to strive for excellence. That teaches them about long-term goals," said Hill, choral director and chair of the visual and performing arts department. "There's value in working hard to make a moment of beauty in music."

Justin Andrews has sung in the ensemble for three years. Now a senior, he plans to attend the University of Hartford, where he will take a dual major of voice performance and music education.

"Being in the ensemble in general is a real privilege. It can be really magical - that's why I'm pursuing music," said Andrews, 18, of Mullica Hill.

Carol Maggioncalda, a retired Clearview teacher from Mullica Hill, often lends support to the ensemble by traveling on its trips and working behind the scenes. Although retired, she still volunteers her time and has accompanied the students to Italy.

"Everywhere we went people were so impressed with their singing and talent, they've invited us back," she said.

She says the students have been so successful, not only because of the school's strong choral program but also through Hill's teaching abilities.

"Jack is extremely talented and has this incredible ability to bring the talent out in them," she said.

Education

What: Vocal Ensemble Concert

When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Clearview Regional High School, 625 Breakneck Rd., Mullica Hill

Tickets: $5 to help offset the cost of a full orchestra accompaniment.

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