FOXBORO (CBS) – The music department at Foxboro High School is so award-winning, a school from Australia reached out to them after seeing them on YouTube. The Australian students have visited Foxboro three times in the last eight years
So now Foxboro’s decided it’s time to go down under. Sending high school musicians on a trip to Australia sounds ambitious, but when you have a Patriots Hall of Famer on your team, you’re halfway there.
“Everybody associates the big furry animal with football – and it was a huge part of my life – but a much bigger part of my life has always been music,” Matt Light told WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben.
Patriots Hall of Famer Matt Light didn’t spend his entire youth hyper-focused on sports.
“In high school, we put in more hours in a show choir than I ever did in sports,” he said.
Both of Matt Light’s parents were musicians – his mom a music teacher – so when it came time to choose a school system…
“Here in Foxboro we’ve raised our kids here the whole time – we’ve been very fortunate to have the ability to introduce her to a group and peers and a program that really prides itself in doing things at a very high level,” Light said.
Foxboro’s award winning music department was part of the game plan. His daughter, Grace Light, a junior, is a gifted violinist.
“Now she’s sitting and sharing first chair and she’s able to play these solos,” Matt Light said.
Now that families like the Lights have hosted students from the Hale School in Perth, Australia in their homes several times, Music Department Head Cami Tedoldi decided it’s time to take the pride of Foxboro on the road to Perth and Sydney next July.
The students participating are elite.
“These are auditioned ensembles,” Tedoldi said. “If you’re here at 6:45 they’re here rehearsing before school starts, after school, weekends, evenings and they’re just putting in that extra effort so we think they really deserve an opportunity like this.”
To send 50 students plus faculty to Australia for two weeks is going to cost $245,000, more than $5,000 per student, which sounds like a tremendous amount of money, but a lot of these young musicians are doing fundraising themselves.
“We’re hoping to get more gigs to help raise more money for the trip but we love going around together,” said Connor Holt.
“The jazz ensemble has started a combo and basically we’re just playing around town getting whatever donations we can.”
And the show choir will be caroling – working to make sure no one’s left behind.
“I feel like if everybody were to go it would just make the trip whole,” said Antonia Carbone.
Watch: Full Interview With Matt Light
“We want to make this trip accessible to everyone,” Tedoldi said.
As a dad, Matt Light likes to see the kids sacrificing for this cultural exchange – but he will warn them about one thing their Australian guests gave him.
“I don’t know if you’ve had the pleasure of Vegemite – it is NOT an American taste,” he said laughing.
A big donation already – Lakeview Pavilion in Foxboro has donated their space and everything for a gala on February 1st.
If you’d like to support the Foxboro Music Department in funding this trip visit: www.foxboromusictoaustralia.com