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Singing all the way to Carnegie Hall

by Ina Hinklemann, staff writer

June 13 will be the day HPU’s International Vocal Ensemble debuts on an international stage when it performs with five other U.S. choral groups at New York’s Carnegie Hall. Susan Duprey, director of the ensemble said, “the performance will not be a competition, but an appreciation of the art of music.”



The opportunity to perform in Carnegie Hall is very exciting, Duprey said, adding that for most of the 21 singers of the choir, it will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

There is a popular saying that you only get to perform in Carnegie Hall if you’ve worked really hard to do so. The students of the HPU’s Vocal Ensemble definitely have, Duprey said, and explained that they still have a lot of work left. Right after finals week, when many other HPU students are going into their summer break, members of the ensemble will start learning and practicing one of the two pieces that they will perform in New York.

The ensemble is already familiar with the first piece, “O Magnum Mysterium,” a Christmas song that they performed at their Winter Concert last year. In New York, the ensemble will perform it a cappella, without accompaniment. However, an orchestra will accompany the group when it performs the second piece, “Lux Aeterna.” This hymn, which asks to “let eternal light shine on the dead” and “may eternal peace be upon these” seems to speak directly to a city like New York where many people died in the 9/11 attacks.

The composer of both pieces is Morten Lauridsen. According to Duprey, he is one of the most respected and influential composers in today’s choral music scene. Lauridsen is originally from the Pacific Northwest and currently teaches composition in California.

“ After our arrival in New York,” Duprey said, “we will have three days left for rehearsal, which we are planning to do for about three to four hours per day.” The performance will be on June 13 at 2 p.m.

According to Duprey, to perform in Carnegie Hall is an honor few musicians achieve. These 21 HPU students will perform on a stage that is considered a pinnacle of success.

The ensemble has done a lot of fundraising to get the money for the trip. They have washed cars, sold cookies, and given concerts. Additionally, HPU is financially supporting their trip and will be represented on a marquee outside of Carnegie Hall.

Discount tickets are available prior to May 19. Anyone who would like to attend the concert should call 212-239-4699 for more information.


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