A Ladies’ Choir is fundraising for the trip of a lifetime to New York City.
Cefn Hengoed Ladies’ Choir is hoping to raise £30,000 to be able to perform at Carnegie Hall, Manhattan, next summer.
The choir has 42 members, with 26 hoping to go on the trip in June, after music bosses saw videos of them performing on Youtube.
The £30,000 figure includes flights, accommodation, transfers and a £15,000 fee to perform at the 19th century venue.
Having performed at venues across the UK, including parliament, and in countries such as Spain, Slovakia and Austria, this would be the first venture outside of Europe for the choir, which was formed in 1948.
Chairperson Carole Pepperell said: “When this opportunity came up, we had to take it.”
Choir secretary Lynne Parfitt said the choir is practising twice a week in preparation for the trip.
Pharmaceutical company Norgine, which has a site in Tir y Berth employing around 500 people, has donated £3,000 towards the trip.
After meeting members of the choir at Derwendeg Primary School in Cefn Hengoed, Norgine site manager Jean-Roch Ledouble said: “We understand our impact in the valley and we want to be a good employer for the valley.
“We already sponsor Aber Valley Male Voice Choir, so sponsoring Cefn Hengoed Ladies’ Choir too is a perfect mix.
“A fantastic local choir invited to perform in New York – it’s a fabulous story.”
Caerphilly AM Hefin David, who contacted Norgine about the fundraising and attended the presentation evening, said: “I can’t thank Jean-Roch and Norgine enough for responding so positively with this donation.
“It was also lovely to see the choir perform, especially for us.
“I wish them all the very best with finding the rest of the money and I will do all I can to help.”
The donation means the choir has now raised nearly £6,000, adding to the funds raised from events such as Elvis-themed nights, sponsored walks and bake sales.
Musical director Rhiannon Pittwood said: “We are incredibly grateful to Norgine for their generous donation.
“For them to consider our choir as worthy of their support means the world to us. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude.
“It was very kind of Jean-Roch to take time out of his no doubt busy schedule to come and see us and hopefully we will be able to build close ties with both himself and Norgine.
“We really can’t thank them enough and also thank Hefin for getting them on board.
“We are one step closer to New York.”
To make a donation to help send Cefn Hengoed Ladies’ Choir to New York, visit obv.sr/chlc.