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April 2012

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Choirs perform at Carnegie Hall

CarnegieSome 40 members of St. Norbert choirs spent their spring break in New York City, preparing for a Carnegie Hall performance on March 19. John Rutter, the foremost British composer, rehearsed them in his own work and conducted the performance.

“It was exciting to step out on stage and think of all of the famous people who had done the same,” says Nikki Schommer ’14.

Michael Rosewall (Music) says the plan for the trip came together serendipitously: “We contacted Carnegie Hall to see what their season looked like, and we saw that they scheduled Rutter during spring break. It was an easy decision.”

In New York, the students joined other college and high school choirs from Florida, Minnesota, New Jersey and Wisconsin. Together, they rehearsed Rutter’s “Magnificat” under the composer’s direction.

“It was wonderful to actually work with and meet the composer to better understand his interpretation [of the piece],” says Cassie Tingo ’14. “[Rutter] is still in love with his own music and passionate about it.”

Rutter, the pre-eminent British composer of church music, has become familiar to a wider audience through his commissions for the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton and many other occasions. Rosewell explains: “His rehearsal style is full of metaphors. He would ask them to sing like trumpets or violins, and as soon as we found what he was looking for, we had a unifying musical element that was exciting for the students.”

Schommer agrees. “It was really cool to see how everyone came together, and I feel we did really well.” The performers received a standing ovation at the concert.

The experience was about more than just the rehearsal time and performance. Many students visited Ground Zero and New York University, and the choristers saw some 20 Broadway shows in all.
 
“Several alums came and helped introduce students to New York University, took pictures of us on Times Square, and attended rehearsals and concerts,” says Rosewall. “One alum even offered to develop an internship for a student at Madison Square Garden. We were truly touched by their generosity.”

April 3, 2012



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