Hurffville Elementary School students definitely have something to believe in.
Today, they believe in Josh Groban — and his generosity.
After singing Groban’s song “Believe” for a radio station B101 contest — they won second place — they were invited by the musician to attend his concert at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on July 29.
“This was the second year for the contest and our second year being in it,” said Nancy Leong, the school’s music teacher.
The contest was made up of two divisions, kindergarten through sixth grade and seventh through 12th grade.
“The first year we did it, we didn’t win,” said Leong.
But that didn’t stop them from entering the radio contest again.
“If you don’t win, you try again,” said student Ryan Andrews, 11.
So that is exactly what they did.
“I gave the chorus members three songs to choose from,” said Leong. “‘Believe’ was the overwhelming favorite among the students.”
They turned in their video in November and in the beginning of December they found out they were finalists.
“I got the message during class that we had won second place with a prize of $5,000,” said Leong. “The kids were jumping up and down in the classroom, going crazy. It was an amazing feeling.”
“This was my first year singing in the contest. When I found out we won I was so excited, I almost started to cry,” said 10-year-old Victoria Abiva.
If the win wasn’t enough, school nurse Jean Weis stepped in to see if she could do something a little extra special for the kids.
I have been following Josh Groban since he was 18,” said Weis. “I sent an email about the contest through his fan page.”
It didn’t take long before Weis was in contact with Josh Groban’s personal assistant, Samantha Phillips.
“Samantha told us that Josh Groban was very excited to hear the kids sing, so I sent them the video,” said Weis. “After some corresponding back and forth a few times it was then that Samantha told me we would be receiving a personal message from Josh himself.”
It was a little over a month ago when they received the video.
“In the video he congratulated the kids on their win and how great they all were,” said Weis. “Then invited all of the kids to his concert in July.”
Out of the 84 chorus members there are 78 going to the Wells Fargo Center concert.
“I was so excited, nothing could be better,” said Kevin Simpson, 10.
So after all this exciting news all they had to do was pick the chaperones and find some transportation.
“The Washington Township Education Foundation stepped up and gave funding for the buses,” said Weis. “So now everything is set, and come July we will all be up in Club Box watching Josh Groban.”