A sell-out crowd of 2,804 filled Carnegie Hall Saturday night, June 20, 2015, to enjoy a special musical evening. Eight choirs from around the country formed a chorus of 175 people to sing Mozart’s Requiem on the venerable Isaac Stern Auditorium/Ronald O. Perelman Stage. Seventeen singers from St. Philip’s sang in the chorus, and many of their family members and friends were in the audience to receive the performance with a standing ovation. The Masterworks Festival Chorus and New York City Chamber Orchestra presentation of the Requiem was one of four offerings on the evening program.
Chorus members spent a total of 10 hours in rehearsal (in three days) with Guest Conductor Dr. Joe Miller, director of choral activities at Westminster Choir College of Rider University, before filing onto stage risers for a sound check/dress rehearsal with the orchestra. Rehearsals were master classes of vocal coaching, musical interpretation, thoughtful sharing of the meaning of each movement, and fun activities.
There was plenty of time to be tourists in New York City as well. Many singers had family in the area and were able to enjoy visiting and touring New York City with them. Some of the things people were doing: Broadway shows, museums, walking the Highline, Ground Zero and the observation deck at the World Trade Center, New York Botanical Garden, Trump Tower, New York Public Library, eating, shopping, walking, talking about how hot it was in Tucson …
Singing in Carnegie Hall was a dream come true for many of our singers, and it was thrilling to see the giant poster outside Carnegie Hall with “St. Philip’s In The Hills Choir, director Woosug Kang,” in big letters. The entire New York City experience was one of good fellowship and deepening friendships, a shared time to be remembered fondly.
St. Philip’s choir members participating: Sylvia Ahanonu, Nancy Atherton, Anne Brinkley, Sylvia and Herb Burton. Julie Gibson, Liz Giles, Sally Gunderman, Beth Lee, Jeannine Rainbolt, Beth Stormont, Gay Vernon, and Bonnie Winn. Friends of St. Philip’s joining the group to sing: Melba Cope, Janet Rowe, Deborah Ryan, and Faith Thesingh. Julie Gibson acted as coordinator for the trip.
—Julie Gibson and Bonnie Winn