A little less than three weeks after the unthinkable unfolded at their Florida high school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas students will appear at one of the most famous performance venues in the world.
While some of the students who survived the Valentine’s Day massacre that left 17 dead were back at school following a two week hiatus, members of the Stoneman Douglas wind symphony were traveling to New York City for their Carnegie Hall debut.
It’s the culmination of an incredibly emotional few weeks for the musicians, who were practicing together when cops say Nikolas Cruz stormed their high school, killing 14 of their fellow students along with three staff members.
Though the band successfully beat out high school bands from across the country to become one of just six who get to perform Tuesday at the famed New York concert hall, the hard earned trip was very nearly derailed by the tragedy, CBS New York reports.
“The Stoneman Douglas Wind Symphony were still determined to move forward with the invitation received months ago when the band was accepted to perform in the New York Wind Band Festival,” teacher Alex Kaminsky posted on Facebook. “We had three rehearsals this week to try to get our program as ready as possible… I’m amazed at how these kids are playing under these circumstances!”
The students will perform Tuesday as their friends back home enter their fourth day back in class following the Feb. 14 nightmare.
For their courage, the students are being recognized by organizers with an invitation to perform the finale Tuesday night.
The students hope the chance to perform will also become an opportunity to heal.
“It’s like you forget about it for a little bit,” senior Mackenzie Hurst told CBS New York. “Because instead of listening to the story that just happened in Parkland, you’re listening to the story of the music.”