At the beginning of the school year I appied for the High School Performance Series at Carnegie Hall. I actually sent in two recordings, on of me playing a jazz piece on the piano and at the last minute I also attached a recording of me singing. I was recommended for this program by my awesome band teacher, Keith Oxman. Honestly, I never thought I would get in for singing, but as it turned out they liked my vocal recording and selected me for the Women’s Honor Choir. Well you would think that the hard part was over, until I got 5 very difficult pieces of sheet music in the mail. Not only did I have to learn the music, but I only had a few weeks to learn it AND some of the songs were in foreign languages such as German and Latin!
The big weekend finally came, as I packed my suitcase and headed to New York City to meet the other 150 girls in my choir from places as far away as S. Korea. We had only 2 days to prepare for our performance at Carnegie Hall. It was two of the longest, and most rewarding days, of my life. Our conductor, Dr. Elizabeth Schauer, showed us no mercy and did not let us rest until every song was perfect. Our repetroire included: Dixit Dominus by Hayden, den Tod, by Bach, der Brautigam, Brahms, Ya Faraoule, a traditional Lebanese folk song, Bonny Wood Green, an Irish Ballad and We rise Again, Dubinsky.
Now it wasn’t just all singing, we did get to spend a little time in my favorite city. We had dinner one night at Ellen’s Stardust Diner and loved listening to the singing waiters, who were all hoping to get a big break on Broadway. We also spent an evening at the New Amsterdam Theater watching the musical Aladdin.
Sunday was our performance day, and stepping onto the stage at Carnegie Hall and singing in front of a sold out house is probably something I will never forget. The other thing I will probably also never forget is the big party afterwards with all of us performers on a yacht in New York harbor dancing the night away and celebrating our accomplishment.
“You cannot push anyone up a ladder unless he is willing to climb a little himself”
~ Andrew Carnegie