It gives “dress for success” a whole new meaning.

The Maine-based Musica de Filia all-female choir is hoping for a successful fundraising drive this month as they auction off a dress that was worn by Oscar-nominated actress Anna Kendrick when she was in the group more than a decade ago.

The dress – with a black velveteen bodice and a burgundy, flared, floor-length skirt – went up for auction on eBay on Sunday with a required opening bid of $500. As of Friday, nobody had bid on the dress, which comes with a certificate of authentication signed by Kendrick.

Any money made from the sale of the dress will help fund Musica de Filia’s trip to a Choirs of America festival at Carnegie Hall in New York City in June.

The group’s founder and director, Jaye Churchill, has stayed in close contact with Kendrick over the years. While most of the dresses worn by the choir’s members are passed down from year to year, Churchill and the group’s manager, Patsy Catsos, decided to hang on to Kendrick’s.

“We figured we might be able to do something with it someday. This year as we were involved in fundraising, I thought ‘What am I waiting for?’,” Churchill said Friday. “So we called Anna’s mother (Jan Kendrick) and Anna.”

Churchill said Kendrick wrote the letter of authentication for the dress from Georgia, where she was filming the thriller “The Accountant” with Ben Affleck. Kendrick was still on location Friday and was not available for comment, according to her publicist.

Kendrick, 29, was nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar in 2010 for her role in “Up in the Air” with George Clooney. She’s also starred in the hit musical “Pitch Perfect” and scored a Top 10 radio hit with the song “Cups (When I’m Gone).” Since 2003, she’s appeared in more than 30 films and TV productions.

Kendrick was in Musica de Filia from 1997 to 2002. By the time she graduated from Deering High School in Portland and left Musica de Filia, Kendrick had already been nominated for a Tony Award for her role in a revival of “High Society” on Broadway.

So there was some evidence she’d become a star, and that her dress might be worth money someday.

Through fundraisers such as car washes and gift card sales, members of Musica de Filia have raised $35,000, Churchill said. But to cover the expenses of all 72 members would take $72,000, Churchill said. She said the dress will probably stay on the auction block for another week or so.

Churchill said the group is also holding an alumni concert May 17 at South Portland High School, and all alums are invited.

“About half the girls who were in (the choir with Kendrick) are going to be there,” Churchill said. “We can only hold our breath and wait to see if Anna might be there as well.”


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