(KMSP) - With every breath, every note and every key, 26 12-year-olds with the Angelica Cantanti Youth Choir perfect their pitch for the opportunity of a lifetime.
“It’s a huge deal," said choir singer Abigail Pearson. "I mean, we’ve sang at a lot of impressive venues, but this is by far the most impressive one.”
They, along with members of ComMUSICation Youth Choir in St. Paul, will take the massive Super Bowl stage at U.S. Bank Stadium Sunday to sing “America the Beautiful” with Hamilton star Leslie Odom, Jr.
ComMUSICation is an after-school, choral-based youth program serving families in St. Paul’s most vulnerable neighborhoods. The Angelica Cantanti Youth Choirs train 275 boys and girls in grades 2-12 from across the metro area.
“I’m excited and I’m very grateful for this once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Jonah Wills of the Angelica Cantanti Youth Choir.
“We’re still kind of pinching ourselves," said Beth Egger, Angelica Cantanti concert choir director. "It’s fun to be a part of those names and contribute to those performances."
The Angelica Cantanti Youth choirs perform free concerts annually at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis and the Ordway Concert Hall in St. Paul. But joining the national spotlight will be an entirely new experience.
“They come to the table already as leaders, and they’re going to make us all so proud, they’re going to shine,” said Audrey Ripple, the group’s executive director.
While some jazz it up keep the stage fright at bay, others own the chance to eradicate stereotypes and change the tune of what it truly means to represent Minnesota.
“I do feel like there’s a lot of pressure to get this right, because it’s huge," said Isabella Collins with the Angelica Cantanti Youth Choir. "I mean millions of people watch this. There’s going to be 70,000 people at the stadium alone."
Abigail Pearson adds that “it’s not just some cold frozen tundra, and there’s a lot of amazing things that are happening up here.”
A lot of these young people say they're drinking lots of water and resting their voices in between rehearsals to make sure they're ready at U.S. Bank Stadium Sunday. The performance will be televised live on NBC prior to kickoff.