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GHHS choir performs in Carnegie Hall

Krystle Wagner • Apr 16, 2019 at 3:00 PM

During spring break, more than 30 Grand Haven choir students were among 200 high school students from Michigan, Texas, California, Wisconsin and Florida who performed together in Carnegie Hall in New York City.

The local program received an invitation to perform, which GHHS choir director Juli Dick said is an honor to have the program recognized on a national platform.

Open to GHHS sophomores, juniors and seniors, 36 students and 13 chaperones participated in the trip.

Senior Quinn Remington said he couldn’t pass up an opportunity to sing at Carnegie Hall, which he said was an honor. Remington said he enjoyed meeting the other students who were also passionate about choir.

“I count myself lucky to have the opportunity to sing in Carnegie Hall,” he said.

Dr. Alan Zabriskie, of Texas Tech University, selected six pieces for the students to perform in New York. Beginning in September 2018, they rehearsed the songs once a week after school. Upon arriving in New York, the Grand Haven students rehearsed with Zabriskie leading up to their performance.

Remington said Zabriskie helped them fine-tune pieces.

“He made sure every detail was great,” Remington said.

The songs performed were “Lullaby” by Daniel Elder, “Invictus” by Joshua Rist, “Der Tanz” by Franz Schubert, “Hlohonolofatsa” arranged by Daniel Jackson, “I Shall Not Live in Vain” by Thomas LaVoy and “Let the Music Fill Your Soul” by Jacob Narverud. The students also worked with LaVoy and Narverud during rehearsals.

Senior MacKenzie Hornak said she enjoyed meeting the composers and sharing with them what she found in their music.

Performing in the famous New York concert hall is something Hornak hoped to do later in life, not expecting to have the opportunity to do it in high school. The standing ovation the choir received for their performance is something Hornak said she will always remember.

“It was beyond beautiful,” she said. “It was like a dream come true.”

Although the choir receives invitations to perform in different places almost every year, they are only able to travel every three years due to the cost, Dick said.

Dick said there were many people along the way who helped the choir with the expenses. While families paid for the cost of the trip, there were also fundraising opportunities with businesses, a pop can drive and an open mic night.

“We’re just extremely grateful for everyone who helped us get there,” Dick said.

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