Nineteen members of Chamber Choir will grace the stage of Carnegie Hall this spring break and attempt a feat they have never tried before: singing a 30 minute long Mozart piece, completely in Latin, without a break.
Singers will spend five days in New York City, from April 1 to 5, rehearsing with a full orchestra, several other high schools, and professional soloists for the “Mozart’s Coronation Mass” concert April 4.
Music instructor Ernie Scarbrough, who will be preparing students for the trip, said that learning the half hour piece of music will be challenging, especially because Chamber Choir will be learning songs for the spring concert during the same months of rehearsal.
“It’s a huge, huge undertaking,” Scarbrough said, adding that Chamber Choir members will be “working their butts off.”
Faith’10 thinks that focusing during rehearsal will be the biggest challenge in learning the music.
“We have to have perfect rehearsal ethic and it’s going to be hard for us because we’re a really social choir,” she said.
Despite the work, however, Scarbrough said that performing in Carnegie Hall will be unique and valuable for those who participate. Chamber Choir has never sung at Carnegie Hall, which is known for its acoustically dynamic architecture and can take six months to book.
“The experience [will be] at arguably one of the top two or three venues in the world…in a place that’s acoustically perfect,” Scarbrough said.
Scarbrough said that participants will have a “multifaceted” trip that will allow them to both bond and gain musical experience. He expects that the Spring Choral Concert will be a great success as a result of the trip, because of the extra time participants will spend together, singing.
“They’ll have this incredible shared experience,” he said. Because of that, the Spring Choral Concert “is going to be killer,” he added. Chamber Choir members said they are looking forward to both the vocal challenges and the bonding experience.
“We get to learn an extended song in a different language. Not only do we get to increase our repertoire, but it’s better for our voices to be versatile in different languages,” Taylor’10 said. “As much as it’s going to be really cool to sing at Carnegie Hall, I’m most looking forward to just being with the people in Choir because I feel like the group of Chamber Choir this year is super close,”
Sarah’11 said. Participants will also sight see in New York, which will include taking a boat ride around the Statue of Liberty and ascending the Empire State Building. This trip was open not only to Chamber Choir members, but also to other upper school students by audition.