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CCRI singers to perform at Carnegie Hall
Feb. 13, 2014
Carnegie Hall in New York City is one of the world’s most famed performance spaces. Internationally renowned symphonies, choirs and other musical acts continually grace its stage. Soon, 13 students from the Community College of Rhode Island will join in those ranks as they get to experience the performance opportunity of a lifetime.
On Sunday, the students will participate alongside community colleges from around the country as part of the Masterworks Festival Chorus and New York City Chamber Orchestra’s presentation of Schubert’s “Mass in G.” The event is an annual occurrence sponsored by Manhattan Concert Productions.
Bright and early on Friday, the students, accompanied by Associate Professor Dr. Joseph Amante, will board a southbound bus to the city, where they immediately will begin rehearsing with the larger chorus. The students had fundraisers to prepare for the traveling expenses, as well as providing some of their own funding.
Though Amante said that he has been rehearsing the piece with the students over the last semester, this will be the first time the Masterworks Festival Chorus – composed of the Compton Community College, Lincoln Land Community College, Minnesota State Community and Tech College, Western Oklahoma State College, Muscatine Community College, Corning Community College, Harper Collage, Enterprise State Community College and Central Connecticut State University – will perform together.
“Rehearsals begin right on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and then we perform late Sunday night, so it will be long and intense in terms of becoming one body and knowing every note as well as possible,” he said.
The CCRI students, who are mostly composed of music majors but also include nonmajor members of the Chorus and Chamber Singers clubs, were invited to participate in the event after Amante connected with notable choral conductor Dr. Craig Arnold at the last American Choral Directors Association Convention. Amante said that Arnold was impressed with the repertoire that CCRI groups had been singing lately and the caliber of the student singers Amante was working with, and soon extended the invitation to participate in the Masterworks Festival Chorus.
“I have to say that this whole academic year, I’ve had really wonderful students. Last fall, we performed one of our best concerts since I’ve been here at CCRI. It’s kind of a special group. And because not all of them are music majors, for some of them, this is going to blow their mind. They’ve gone from learning to read music to being on stage at Carnegie Hall,” Amante said.
Other than the pure prestige of performing at a space like Carnegie, Amante said that the venue has a unique acoustical experience. “When I was a music student, I got to sing at Carnegie three times. It’s an old wooden hall with a great resonance, and I think the students will feel like they’re really involved in the creation of the music,” he said.
“I think this will be a hugely rewarding experience,” said Amante. “I’m absolutely thrilled.”
The students will perform at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 16, in the Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall. Amante said that the singers would reprise the piece on their home turf during the college’s spring concert at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 25, in the Bobby Hackett Theater at the Knight Campus in Warwick.
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