By Todd Wels

Triplicate staff writer

The Del Norte High School Madrigal Choir will be heading to England with a song in their hearts in November.

The choir has raised the money it needs to travel to Gloucester, England to participate in this years Gloucester Invitational Choral Festival.

Were past the point of no return; the door is closed. Were going, Choir Director Lindy Rust said Thursday.

The Madrigal Choir will travel to England during the week of Nov. 21, to participate in the festival.

While there, the choir will sing at a school and a Sunday Church service.

The festival will culminate with all participants singing pieces Rust called insanely difficult in a 1,000-year-old cathedral.

Del Norte High was one of only five high schools in the United States invited to take part in the festival.

The other four schools include two from Virginia, one from Louisiana and one from North Dakota.

Del Norte High received its invitation in February, and immediately began its fundraising attempts.

I didnt want to pass this by, Rust said.

Since receiving the invitation, the choir has delivered singing telegrams, put on car washes and performed in a sing-a-thon, with donors pledging money for every song sung, as well as pounding the pavement for donations from businesses and individuals.

We couldnt have done it without the community, said choir member Chris Corpstein.

They have just gone way out of their way and opened their checkbooks, Rust said.

Rust also praised Del Norte High School principal Dennis Burns and School District Superintendent Walt Hanline for their support for the trip.

Its just always nice to see kids work, Burns said. Lindy Rust has a quality program.

Burns was joined in his praise for Rust by students taking part in the Madrigal Choir, as they credited Rust for securing the invitation.

I think it speaks very strongly of our program and Lindys teaching qualities, Corpstein said.

Fellow choir member Erin Louy pointed out that the choir has received many other performing invitations since February.

Thats just the way Rust likes it.

You can teach it in the classroom, but youve got to get it out in front of people they dont know, he said.

How confident is the choir?

Its a mixture between nervous and excitement, Corpstein said, grinning.

Rust believes his group is ready.

My goodness, he said. We are so much farther ahead than weve ever been, thanks to this looming project.

Im really excited about going to England, Louy said. Its a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

There is one thing Louys not looking forward to very much, though English food.

Ive heard its nasty, she said, crinkling her nose.

At a meeting Monday, Rust will request donations of $500 each from the parents of the 24 Madrigal Choir students. That is $1,000 less, per student, than he had initially anticipated.

Those wishing to further offset parent expense for the trip can still donate.

For more information, contact Lindy Rust at 464-0260.