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Bellezza, Cantiamo perform along side Worldstrides Youth Honor Choir

Photo by Ching at Creative Commons Flickr

The high school choir, Cantiamo, and women’s ensemble, Bellezza, will perform in the world-renowned Carnegie Hall with the Worldstrides National Youth Honor Choir, April 15.

After a year of planning and preparation, the time has finally come. The high school choir, Cantiamo, and women’s ensemble, Bellezza, perform in the world-renowned Carnegie Hall as part of the Worldstrides National Youth Honor Choir, April 15.

Under the direction of Rollo Dillworth, the group sings alongside nine other high schools from around the country.

One of the most prestigious concert halls in America, Carnegie Hall was first created by and named after Andrew Carnegie in 1890. The venue has grown to be one of the most iconic performance destinations as many famous musicians and conductors have showcased their skills in the hall.

This is the second time campus choral director Susan Ainley has taken a group to New York to sing in Carnegie Hall. She is thankful for the opportunity to sing in such a notable concert hall. Two years ago, she just took Bellezza ensemble.

“On the first trip I only took ensemble,” Ainley said. “At the time only 15 girls were involved, 12 of which were seniors. Of that group, Juliana Lozano (‘18), Celeste Counts (‘18), and Macie Thompson (’19), are here singing for the second time.

“Carnegie Hall is the most well-known concert stage in America,” Ainley continued. “Many famous artists have performed there including, Tchaikovsky, Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland. The acoustics and architecture are second to none.”

Feather Staff | The Feather Online

The Bellezza women’s ensemble traveled to New York City to sing at Carnegie Hall, April 15.

Carnegie Hall contains three distinct, separate performance spaces. The group will perform in the main concert hall, Stern Auditorium, April 15, at 8:30 p.m. The Isaac Stern Auditorium seats 2,804 on five levels and was named after violinist Isaac Stern in 1997 to recognize his efforts to save the hall from demolition in the 1960s.

The main hall was home to the performances of the New York Philharmonic from 1892 until 1962. After years of wear and tear, it was renovated in 1986. Other halls include Zankel Hall and Weill Recital Hall which are much smaller.

The campus choral groups were invited to sing in the performance about a year ago when both received gold ratings and outstanding choir award at the Heritage Festival in Anaheim. Ainley shares about some preparations made before the trip.

“We were excited to receive an invitation for both choir and ensemble at last year’s Heritage Festival in Anaheim,” Ainley said. “Both groups revived a gold rating, which is a score of 90 or higher. Bellezza actually received the highest score of the festival with 98. As soon as we received the invitation to sing at Carnegie Hall we began the preparations.

“We have fundraised many thousands of dollars,” Ainley continued, “planned the full itinerary for a week in New York and of course worked on all of the music. The students have learned so much already, and I know they will remember this event as a once in a lifetime event.”

Thompson first visited New York her freshman year with the Bellezza group and looks forward to a second opportunity.

When I first sang in Carnegie Hall, I expected it to be super extravagant and to basically be like a royal wedding but it wasn’t,” Thompson said. “It was more of just a fun experience and I learned so much. It helped me to branch out and understand more about the choral world.

“Singing in Carnegie Hall is an amazing thing to experience especially because you get to experience admire the amazing architecture,” Thompson continued. When we performed, the ensemble we sang with a big group of many other choirs. Now that I’m getting a second chance to sing there I’m gonna really try to take in the beauty of the building.”

After months of practicing, three rehearsals and a sound check the group is finally performance ready. The choirs will perform in the Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall, 8:30, April 15.

The following video showcases what to expect in Carnegie Hall this year. The video gives glimpses into the historic hall and artists that will perform this year. The Feather is not permitted to take photos or videos inside Carnegie Hall.

For more article check out, Campus choirs sing at Cal Poly and Singing in the Big Apple, campus choirs take New York.

The author can be reached via email: Braden BellInstagram and Twitter.

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