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MNU Choir Performs at Carnegie Hall

The spring break trip of a lifetime awaits 20 MNU students and sponsors from MNU’s Heritage Choir as they prepare for a trip to New York City and their feature performance at Carnegie Hall on March 13. The choir will be joined by several other singers from across the U.S. to form the Masterworks Festival Chorus performing Dr. Leavitt's Requiem, accompanied by the all-professional New York City Chamber Orchestra.

Also included in the concert is the National Festival Chorus led by renowned conductor, Alan Raines of Baylor University, and performance of a Hayden mass by the California Lutheran University Concert Choir conducted by Dr. Wyant Morton.

When MNU senior music and music business major Stormy White, of Leoti, Kan., learned of the trip last fall he signed on immediately.

“The chance to go to New York and sing in Carnegie Hall is possibly a once in a lifetime opportunity,” White says. “It’s almost unbelievable that we get to experience something like this. Not very many choirs can say they sang in Carnegie Hall, especially with their own director doing the directing.”

Like the other choir members, White raised his own funding to pay for the trip.

“I had no idea how I was going to get the money to go, but when you have the chance to do something like this you have to take it and believe that the money will come,” White states. “I didn't really do anything special to raise money, I was able to pay some myself and with the help of family and friends I was able to get the rest.”

The opportunity for Heritage Choir to perform at Carnegie Hall stems from Dr. Leavitt’s affiliation with the venue’s Masterworks Concert Series in which he performs annually. His experience and reputation as a composer and conductor resulted in his first invitation to perform there in 1999. No stranger to world-class concert halls, Leavitt has also performed at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

“Carnegie Hall is among the finest concert halls in the world,” Leavitt states. “It’s a special place and always a thrill to make music there. It is my hope that my students have an experience that broadens their perspective and opens them up to unimagined possibilities.”

While rehearsals for the concert will take much of their time in New York City, the students will tour top sites such as Central Park, Ellis Island, The Statue of Liberty, the Metropolitan Opera, and more, ending with a post-concert cruise of the Hudson to see the city’s lights at night.

The choir will encore their Carnegie Hall program at Bell Cultural Events Center on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 3:30 p.m. in an event titled How Can I Keep From Singing? For free tickets to the April 3rd event contact (913) 971-3636.

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