Concert Chorale ready to perform at historic Carnegie Hall

Troy University's Concert Chorale will take the stage at the historic Carnegie Hall on May 25.

Troy University's Concert Chorale will take the stage at the historic Carnegie Hall on May 25.

Tchaikovsky. Billie Holiday. Judy Garland. The Beatles.

These are just a few of the artists who have graced the historic Carnegie Hall in New York City, and Troy University’s Concert Chorale will join that prestigious list on May 25.

The TROY choral group takes the stage as part of the Distinguished Concerts International New York City presentation “The Music of Eric Barnum,” part of the DCINY Concert Series.

Opened in 1891, the historic concert hall has played host to some of the most important musical figures in history.

“It’s a revered space and a space with history,” said Dr. Diane Orlofsky, conductor of the Concert Chorale. “It’s a space that requires sustained effort. It’s special.”

Conductor and composer Dr. Eric Barnum, who has written two pieces for the TROY Concert Chorale, invited the group to perform his work at Carnegie.

Thirty-seven TROY students will work alongside two other choirs under Barnum’s direction in the Isaac Stern Auditorium.

“The very fact that we were invited is a big deal,” Orlofsky said. “I think he enjoys that we put such intense care and effort into the music we perform. It pales in comparison to how much we appreciate his compositions, his teaching and his heart.”

The performance closes with “Evensong,” a piece TROY commissioned from Barnum last year.

“Our kids have this special experience,” Orlofsky said. “They performed (“Evensong”) already, and now they get to do it with a Carnegie Hall premiere.”

Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall

The students had to raise money to support the trip, and their ability to rally together inspired their conductor.

“A year ago when we knew we had to raise all the money for this, we decided right there we would leave no one behind,” Orlofsky said. “I’ve watched as they’ve done so many different things to raise funds and they looked out for each other. It was amazing to see 37 young people do that. They’ve already shown me team effort and a desire to sound as good as they can. They’ve worked hard on the music and are approaching it with a level of maturity that has really impressed me.”

She knows, though, that watching her students perform on such a grand stage will be an emotional experience.

“There’ll be a thousand different emotions going through me,” Orlofsky said. “Of course, there will be enormous pride in their efforts; the enormous respect and admiration for Eric; and we have a lot of parents coming and sacrificing to support their kids, so I’m pleased they’ll be able to participate in that. When you’ve done this for as long as I’ve done this – this is the end of my 32nd year at TROY – it’s the small moments that mean the most to me.”

The trip to New York is a three-day residency for the group, culminating in the May 25 concert.