Severn Students Know How to Get to Carnegie Hall

Emily Leach '24
How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Everyone knows the punchline to this old joke -- you practice.  And practice is precisely what members of Severn School’s Vocal Ensemble and Treble Choirs did to earn an invitation to perform at the musical center of the world.
To kick off spring break, Severn students representing two of the school’s choirs traveled to New York City to for a special performance at Carnegie Hall. Celebrating MidAmerica Production’s 40th anniversary, Severn sang alongside the Virginia Wesleyan University choir, the Salem High School choir (Virginia Beach, VA), and the Bemidji High School choir (Bemidji, MN). All five choirs blended incredibly together to perform Ola Gieilo’s Sunrise Mass: a thirty-five-minute piece written in liturgical Latin. This beautiful work was accompanied by the New England Symphonic Ensemble, MidAmerica’s resident orchestra, and was performed in front of over 2,000 audience members.

To prepare for this exciting opportunity, students who went on the trip rehearsed during both lunch and A period for about six weeks.

While the choirs rehearsed for two mornings of the trip, students were also able to explore Times Square in the afternoon and had the opportunity to see the Broadway show Six. Students also visited the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) to discover the world’s most influential and largest collections of modern art. Following the Saturday performance in Carnegie Hall, all performers were invited on a New York Harbor cruise with dinner and dancing to celebrate their exceptional performance. In future years, Severn School’s choirs look forward to participating in a variety of prestigious musical performances. Vocal Ensemble and Treble Choir are both directed by Rob Redei, chair of the Upper School Arts Department and Music Teacher.

Severn School first got noticed by MidAmerica at a choir competition during the 2019-2020 school year. Having established a reputation as a quality program, they were invited by the conductor to be a part of this anniversary performance.

Created in 1984, MidAmerica Productions has become the foremost independent producer of choral concerts in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall. For nearly 40 years, MidAmerica Productions has brought together conductors, soloists and choral and instrumental ensembles from the U.S. and abroad to appear at New York’s top venues.

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