05/29/2015 03:19 EDT | Updated 05/29/2016 05:59 EDT

Fort St. John choir to play Carnegie Hall in New York

A choir from Fort St. John has lined up a pretty big gig later this year — Carnegie Hall in New York City.

"I think the choir members nearly jumped out of their seats when I told them about it," said Rachel Casponi, director of the North Peace Community Choir. 

"It's just such a thrill because it is a four-day residency at Carnegie Hall working with percussionists, musicians and an absolutely world-renowned conductor to present one of the biggest choral masterworks in history."

The choir will be performing Handel's Messiah in November along with choirs from all over the world.  

The event is organized by Distinguished Concerts International New York, which recruits amateur choirs to perform in some of the most prestigious concert halls in the world.

Casponi says it's almost too good to be true, especially for singers who don't have significant formal training.

"We are all amateur musicians. None of us our making our living doing this," said Casponi.

"We get together and sing once a week, and I think we've just been really able to start creating some absolutely beautiful sounds and we are really proud of the work we did."

The biggest challenge they are facing right now is raising enough money to send 60 choir members to New York.

While the price tag is hefty, Casponi says it is as much a learning experience as it is a performance opportunity.

"I've actually never been to Carnegie Hall and I can't imagine the size of it," she said.

"I have no idea what it will feel like other than exhilarating. I hope that we are not too excited to take it all in."

To hear the full interview with Rachel Casponi, listen to the audio labelled Fort St. John choir to play Carnegie Hall.