ELYRIA, Ohio (WJW) -- The students in Elyria A Cappella Choir are finding their voice and preparing to share it with the world ahead of a free concert featuring guest soloist, world renowned opera singer Lester Lynch.
"To see someone who comes from the same place that they did to work so hard to achieve so much and be able to give back is really helpful," said Choir Director Kalee Bondzio.
Lynch, an award winning Baritone, is an alumnus of Elyria High School. Thursday's concert will be his first time time singing in the performing arts center built several years ago. He said this hometown performance will be especially heartwarming.
"Having so many friends and family in the audience, often times in order for my friends and family from home to hear me they have to jump on a plane, get a hotel or drive several hours," said Lynch.
Wednesday morning Lynch spent several hours with students, listening to them sing, answering questions and offering suggestions on how to improve their performance. He said it was refreshing to be with students so enthusiastic about music.
"It's a really amazing feeling, it's so much fun to work with him," said soloist Mia Congress.
The concert begins at 7 p.m. Thursday and is presented free of charge.
When it's time to lift their voices during the performance, Lynch said he wants students to push past their fear and dream of an even bigger stage.
"I'm saying to the students this week, dream, I even read a poem this morning from Langston Hughes about dreaming and being willing to chase those dreams and to not take no for an answer," he said.