NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It has been two and a half weeks since the deadly school shooting in Florida.
While students at the school are still trying to come to grips with what happened, some traveled to New York this weekend as they get ready to play at Carnegie Hall.
As CBS2's Hazel Sanchez reported, their music has the power to transcend time and place.
When students in the wind symphony band from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School pick up their instruments and play, they say something magical happens.
"It's like you forget about it for a little bit. Because instead of listening to the story that just happened in Parkland, you're listening to the story of the music," senior Mackenzie Hurst told Sanchez.
Hurst and her fellow band members were rehearsing together right next door to the freshman building where the gunman began shooting on Valentine's Day
"We were sitting together, cuddling, relaxing, just trying to come to peace with what was going on and hopefully survive through it," tuba player Luis Gomez.
Less than three weeks later, the students will take the stage at Carnegie Hall for the New York Wind Band Festival. It's an amazing opportunity that they say is helping them heal.
"Definitely music is a coping mechanism for me and I want to say every other kid here," said Gomez.
"Some of the pieces that we play have a beautiful story behind it, and I think it's better to look at the beauty of it than the sadness and things like that," Hurst said.
The group auditioned to become one of just six high school bands from across the country that will perform Tuesday at the famed New York concert hall.
Though tragedy almost cancelled their trip, their teacher said he, the students and their parents knew it was best to keep playing.
"I started getting the sense that these kids needed something to help them move forward, and that was making music," teacher Alex Kaminsky said.
"I'm still here with everyone that I can play music with. I still get to do what I love to do, even though something horrible happened," band member Alexander Goodchild said. "And that just makes it all worth living for I guess."
Their courage is being recognized by organizers with an invitation to perform a special finale Tuesday night.
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