Lakewood Symphonic Choir Performs at Carnegie Hall

The Purple and Gold stands out on stage at Carnegie Hall

5/6/07 New York City : On a beautiful, sunny spring day in May, the city of Lakewood was proudly represented by a special group of Lakewood High School students who had traveled together by bus all the way to New York City to sing at one of the world's most prestigious performing arts venues, Carnegie Hall.

The Lakewood High School Symphonic Mixed Choir, directed by Dr. Lisa Hanson, was invited by Dr. Earl Rivers, the conductor and music director of the Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati, to perform with several of the best chamber choirs in the country on a rendition of Requiem by John Rutter.

As the participants took the stage, the Lakewood students, wearing their distinctive purple and gold robes, were easily recognizable among the large assembly. As the lights dimmed and the opening phrases of the Requiem began to resonate inside the acoustically perfect theater, the audience was treated to a flawless performance, punctuated by an exacting blend of octave harmonies rendering an ethereal, ultimately compelling musical composition. The Lakewood students performed, as they always do, like seasoned professionals despite finding themselves in a place far, far away from the familiar confines of the Lakewood Civic Auditorium or the Barton Center.

"It didn't really hit me at first where I was," said Colleen Reynolds, who is a member of the choir's alto section, "until I looked out into the audience sitting in this beautiful theater. It is really an amazing honor to be performing here."

The journey to Carnegie Hall was the culmination of months of planning, fundraising, and hard work by many. Funding for the trip came from the George Read Foundation, the Lakewood High School Alumni Association, the Lakewood High Music Boosters, the students, and their parents. No taxpayer money went into the funding of this project.

During the 5-day excursion, the students were kept active by an aggressive itinerary that led them to many of the exciting sights and sounds of New York City, including its museums and historic places, such as the Statue of Liberty and Ground Zero. On their last day, the Choir appeared on the CBS Early Show before taking the long bus ride home, accompanied by their shared memories and the goodwill created by their talents and well-mannered behaviors.

The City of Lakewood and its school system have much to be proud of as a result of the outstanding accomplishments of one of its better kept secrets, the Lakewood High School Symphonic Mixed Choir.

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Volume 3, Issue 10, Posted 9:58 PM, 05.06.2007