When Holy Innocents' Middle School chorus students arrived in New York City earlier this month, sightseeing had to wait. They were there to perform.
The Advanced Seventh & Eighth-Grade Mixed Chorus had the honor of gracing the stage at Carnegie Hall on March 22. After concert organizers reviewed the mixed chorus's recordings in the fall, the students were selected to perform, along with other middle school students from across the country, in the famous and elegant concert hall.
The students' stellar performance – as choral director Dr. Ben Sims described it – included musical pieces "Sanctus In D Minor" (J.S. Bach), "Travelin' Train" (Rollo Dilworth), "Hine Ma Tov" (Neil Ginsberg), "Credo" (Mark Hayes), "In Flander's Fields" (John Jacobson and Roger Emerson) and "Shine On Me" (Rollo Dilworth).
Mr. Sims, who says students rehearsed March 20 and then another six hours on March 21, says the experience of performing at Carnegie Hall was a tremendous benefit to students. "This is authentic learning at its best. Students rehearse and perform under professional expectations," he says.
Eighth-grader James Best says he was amazed the concert hall was so big. "The acoustics in there were amazing. They made the sound quality so good," he says, adding he also was amazed by how alive the city was at night. "It was very exciting… We would be walking around at 11 p.m., and there would be just as many cars, taxis, people and stores open and busy as if it was 11 a.m."
Eighth-grader Laura Sullivan says she will never forget the experience. "Singing at Carnegie Hall had to be one of the most amazing experiences of my life," she says. "It was so beautiful and just completely amazing."
Student performers on the trip were: Ashlyn Masters, Ben Rousseau, Molly Harrington, Anne Claire Pittman, Ryan Sokolowski, Kennan Luther, Katie Cross, Holly Shaw, Madeline Gibson, Lauren Duncan, James Best, Jackie Freides, Carter Brehm, Carter Holland, Hannah Bell, Kinley Craig, Bailey McBride, Cece McCrary, Lindsey Miller, Laura Sullivan, Chris Waldron, Zach Waldron and Hannah Waxelbaum.