How do you get to Carnegie Hall? For the Bridgewater State University Chamber Singers, the famous punchline to that query, “practice,” rings true.
The dozen members of the Chamber Singers are hard at work preparing to perform with groups from around the world next month at the famed New York City concert venue. Grammy-winning composer and conductor Eric Whitacre will lead the concert, which features his music and is part of the Distinguished Concerts International New York concert series.
“It’s a lot of work but it’s definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Taylor Eckstrom, a senior music education major from Scituate and member of the Chamber Singers.
Fellow member Angela Maloney, a senior from Whitman studying music performance, added: “It’s like every singer’s dream to get to Carnegie Hall.”
Other ensembles in the concert come from as far away as Dubai, United Arab Emirates, (Dubai Chamber Choir) and as close as Groton (The Groton-Dunstable Regional High School Chamber Chorus).
BSU students began preparing for the performance in the fall and have honed their craft during formal rehearsals and their free time.
Taylor, who is a fan of Whitacre, learned about the performance opportunity online. The group submitted a video of a concert and was accepted.
Travel is nothing new for the Chamber Singers, which draws its members from the larger University Chorale. The group’s tours have taken it to venues around the United States and Europe. But, this is different since the singers will rehearse and perform with Whitacre. And, it marks the first time, to music professor Dr. Steven Young’s knowledge, that a BSU group has performed at Carnegie Hall.
“I’m excited for them,” said Dr. Young, who directs the Chamber Singers. “This is such a unique opportunity.”
The performance is also an honor for the university.
“There is a level of excellence here that is recognized, and I think that’s important,” he said.
Taylor and Angela are excited to rehearse with Whitacre and, of course, step onto the Carnegie Hall stage.
Singing on stage will be like “magic,” Angela said.
Students also look forward to making lasting memories together.
“It’s really exciting to do it as a group,” Taylor said. “These are all my friends.”
Other students performing at Carnegie Hall include Colleen McDonough, Dawna Vella, Cara Daybre, Kalee Lucier-Hill,Kyra Kephart, Kate Karl-Morin, Xavier Cosme, Patrick Dauwer, Robert Gariepy III and Tristen Fuller.
The concert is set for 1 p.m. on April 8. More information and tickets can be found at Distinguished Concerts International New York’s website. (Story by Brian Benson, University News)