The Austrian capital of Vienna, which captivated composers Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Strauss and Brahms, now beckons to modern musicians who will visit next summer -- if their bake sales and carwashes provide.
The 65-voice Eastern High School Choir needs $160,000 to answer the call of the International Youth and Music Festival in July.
"I don't know how we're going to do it, but we're going to do it," said Joyce Garrett, choir director since 1972.
Eastern, one of 19 groups chosen from the United States, earned the invitation after its gospel music presentation at the Music Educators National Conference in March. For the past two years, Eastern has finished in first place in the National High School Gospel Choir Competition.
Now, along with lifting their voices for daily two-hour rehearsals, choir members must raise funds through various projects. Though rain fell every night of their first effort, a city fair and carnival held last week at nearby RFK Stadium, enthusiasm still runs high in the halls at 17th and East Capitol streets NE.
According to senior choir member Fredericka Gordon, "It seems like the trip of a lifetime."
The choir's next effort will be a reception to introduce members to the public, on Oct. 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Disabled American Veterans building, 807 Maine Ave. SW.
Maudine Cooper, chairman of the Friends of Eastern Fund Raising Committee, said that supporters who cannot afford financial contributions can help enormously with mailings or telephone calls. Further information on the committee is available at 895-2638.
The Vienna show requires that each choir perform one song written by a compatriot, and Garrett is primarily considering spirituals or jazz. In addition, the choir must sing several specified classical pieces.