The Cantorei Choir at Laramie County Community College was invited by Choirs of America last April to perform on April 13 and 14 at Carnegie Hall in New York.
On April 13, Cantorei will perform pieces that they have been working on since last year in front of adjudicators at the Aaron Copland School of Music to receive feedback on their performance. Then on April 14, Cantorei will be grouped together with the other choirs to perform at Carnegie Hall under Anton Armstrong, conductor of the St. Olaf Choir from St. Olaf College.
According to Beth Kean, Director of Choral Music at LCCC, Cantorei will get to learn a lot from Armstrong. Kean used to be a student of Armstrong’s while attending St. Olaf College.
“He’s a master clinician and conductor, he travels all over the world to conduct choirs,” Kean said, “We’re very fortunate to get him, to be able to work with him and to learn from him.”
Kean said that qualified choirs are invited by nomination.
“I’m very flattered that we were invited to come and be part of this festival,” Kean said, “I think it’s a really good experience for our students.”
Kean said that many of the choir students have never been to New York before.
“It’s one of my dreams, especially with performing at Carnegie Hall,” said Mareikel Blake, a member of Cantorei Choir.
Kean said that the preparation for the trip started last April when Cantorei got the invitation.
“I started thinking about choosing repertoire and what our group could do and could do really really well,” Kean said, “As well as auditioning new members that could come in, so half our members this year in Cantorei are brand new.”
Kean said she chose a variety of pieces for Cantorei to perform, and about half of them are acapella and the other half are with piano. There are a total of 17 pieces, all of which will be performed at their pre-tour concert with the Brass Ensemble at 7 p.m. on April 9 at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.
“These students have worked really hard since August to be prepared for this, and they are singing very very well,” Kean said.