OU Choir Sings at Carnegie Hall

Posted by Paula Paine on May 23, 2011 in choir, "Current Students", Events, Music, "School of Arts and Sciences", "The College" “Excellent, brilliant, fantastic.” That is how internationally renowned composer Karl Jenkins described the U.S. premier of his composition “Gloria” at Carnegie Hall on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The Ottawa University Choir joined a number of other choirs from the U.S. and abroad in performing “Gloria” and “Stabat Mater” before a sellout crowd. “The performers played and sounded great, so it was memorable,” said Jenkins. “It made a connection with the audience. That’s the main thing, which I loved.” The OU Choir was invited to sing at Carnegie Hall by Dr. Jonathan Griffith, artistic director and co-founder of Distinguished Concerts International New York. Griffith, who also conducted the performance, had the task of preparing the multiple choirs in rehearsals over three days for the concert. Speaking specifically of the OU Choir, Griffith said, “I think they feel that they have accomplished something of a high nature, which they certainly should.” At a post-concert reception, Griffith extended an open invitation to the OU Choir to return for any concert it so chooses.   “It was the most incredible experience I’ve ever had,” said senior Lauren Frazier about singing in Carnegie Hall. “I’ve always dreamt about performing where all of the greats perform – Julie Andrews, Carol Burnett – and I got to sing on that stage, so I was really excited!” The Ottawa University Choir has traveled extensively throughout its history, but performing in Carnegie Hall was a first for the choir. And speaking of firsts, for many choir members, the venture to New York City marked the first time they had traveled in an airplane.   Rehearsals and performances aside, the six-day trip also afforded the members a chance to experience the numerous sights of The Big Apple. Seeing the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, watching the hustle and bustle of Times Square, and even getting lost on the subway a time or two are just some of the experiences that won’t soon be forgotten. Perhaps junior Nino Straub summed it up best: “It was a blast!”