Members of the choral choir at St Columba Anglican School have only a few days to go before they jet off to New York on Monday, November 5, to sing at Carnegie Hall.
The group have been rehearsing since they found out they were going last November and are feeling ready and pumped for the experience that awaits them.
Choir student Jordan Magnus-Mccarthy said final preparations are being made before they all head off.
“For us it has been a long year learning the music we will be singing and then finally getting the actual music but all our hard work will be worth it when we step off the plane in New York,” Jordan said.
“For a lot of the choir this will be the first time they have been overseas and then to do something like being able to sing at Carnegie Hall with composer Paul Mealor is just incredible.
“We have really been pushing ourselves to be the best we can be and hopefully when we walk onto that stage it all falls together and we are able to create some magic.”
He said the school choir will help make a giant choir which will be conducted by Paul Mealor himself.
“It really will be surreal walking into the rehearsal space next week and being able to see and learn from adult choirs from all over the world who have come to sing together,” he said.
“I think we are all really excited about learning as much as we can from the amazing people we will be working with.”
Abigail French is another student who is also heading to New York and said it was going to be a trip to never forget.
“Most of us are leaving on Monday but a few will be following a few days later after they finish their HSC exams,” Abigail said.
“We are at the end of a long year of rehearsals and to think about how far we have all come is really incredible.
“The music itself it very challenging so it took a long time for us to learn it all but now we are really focusing on the emotions behind what we are singing and it is taking our performance to the next level.”
She said the group will also have some down time in the city that never sleeps and the group are keen to explore the famous city.
“New York is everything really. We are all so excited about singing at Carnegie Hall and meeting the other members of the choir and Paul himself, but also about exploring the city,” she said.
“There is talk we will be singing in Central Park and we will also be visiting Time Square and seeing a few shows but also just being able to experience New York and all the tourist attractions will be cool.”
The group were chosen to sing in New York after someone saw a video posted of the group singing online.
Conductor Marie van Gend said the moment she received an email inviting the SCAS Chamber Choir to sing at Carnegie Hall it was surreal.
“I thought it was a hoax so I actually deleted the email and forgot about it. Then they contacted me again via the telephone and I began to realise this was real,” Ms van Gend said.
“The students were elated to learn that they were going to perform an original composition by one of their heroes, in arguably the greatest concert hall in the world, and that he was going to teach it to them and conduct it.
“They have worked so hard to get to this point and I am just so proud of them.”
The piece they will be performing will be Paul Mealor’s ‘Requiem’ which looks at ‘the beauty of sacrifice’ and it will be performed on November 11, Remembrance Day.
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