GPRC Concert Choir performing in the City that never Sleeps

GPRC Concert Choir performing in the City that never Sleeps

MacKenzie Lowen, a second-year Bachelor of Music student at GPRC, will get a chance that few aspiring singers ever get to experience.

MacKenzie Lowen

She, along with the rest of the GPRC Concert Choir, is getting the once-in-a-lifetime chance to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York in a week’s time.

Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) extended an invitation to the choir led by GPRC Fine Arts instructor Tina Alexander-Luna to participate in a performance of Handel’s Messiah on the DCINY Concert Series in New York City. The performance in Isaac Stem Auditorium at Carnegie Hall will take place on Sunday, November 25, 2018.

We caught up with MacKenzie and picked her brain about the upcoming experience as well as got some background on just how the Concert Choir is preparing for this one-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Check it out ⬇

How long have you been studying voice?

I have been studying voice since September 2017 when I started my Bachelor of Music degree at GPRC. I have been singing all my life but have not had any lessons or vocal instruction prior to attending GPRC, so I’m learning a lot about how the voice works and how to support the voice properly.

What does it mean to you as a GPRC music student to have the opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall?

It is an amazing to get this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get to sing in Carnegie Hall! I’m beyond thrilled to have the chance to do something so big in my second year of college. I’m honestly a little star struck about performing in Carnegie Hall, and have been eagerly anticipating this trip since it was announced earlier this year.

What has the concert preparations been like? Do you have to practice on your own at all?

The concert preparations have been Tuesday evening rehearsals and an hour rehearsal on Thursdays for the students in the choir. A large musical work like Handel’s “Messiah” needs extra practice to make sure it’s familiar to the choir members because we only have so much time before New York. Outside of choir rehearsals, I’ve had to do a lot of practice on my own to familiarize myself with the music and to be confident in the pieces we will be singing in Carnegie Hall. At this point, I’ve started to really enjoy practicing my parts in my own time. I find it to be quite relaxing and it’s a beautiful piece of music to listen to.

How long is Handel’s “Messiah”? Do you have to memorize your music?!

Handel’s “Messiah” is quite a long piece in its entirety- it’s more than 2 hours of music, with orchestra, soloists, and the choral pieces. If I had to memorize Handel’s “Messiah”, I don’t think I’d be able to do it! There’s so much to learn, which makes me very glad that we have the musical score and aren’t required to memorize the pieces we’re performing. However, it’s very highly encouraged to know your part well enough that you feel comfortable with following along with the music, and comfortable enough to look up at the conductor! The better I know the music, the more I enjoy the experience of choral singing!

Other than performing in NYC, what else will you be doing while visiting there, or what else are you looking forward to doing?

Other than performing in New York with choirs from around the world, I will be going with a group of choir members to view a triple bill opera, so that’s three one hour operas and that will be at the Metropolitan Opera House. I’ve fallen in love with opera, so this is one of the things I most look forward to. I’m also very eager to tour the Steinway Hall in New York because of the Steinway grand piano the piano students have the great privilege of playing on at GPRC. I’m also excited about seeing a live Broadway show while we’re there, as we will all be going to see the Broadway Revival of “My Fair Lady” at the Lincoln Centre. There’s just so many exciting things to do in New York! 

Anything else you’d like to share?

Once we get home from New York, there will be a choir concert here in town which will be on December 1 in the Douglas J. Cardinal Performing Arts Centre in GPRC. At this concert, we will be performing selections from Handel’s “Messiah”, including some solos performed by members of the choir. This concert will be a great opportunity for locals to hear some of the music we performed in New York. I will actually be featured as one of the soloists singing the aria for soprano, “How Beautiful are the feet”. It will be a fabulous concert in collaboration with members of the Grande Prairie Symphony Orchestra.

To learn more about the GPRC Concert Choir, click here. 

Get your tickets today for their December 1 performance at GPRC, here. 

 

Excited Things Ahead for GPRC Concert Choir

Excited Things Ahead for GPRC Concert Choir

Spring is finally here and GPRC’s Concert Choir has a lot to look forward to!

GPRC Fine Arts Instructor, Tina Alexander-Luna and her concert choir received a once in a life-time opportunity this past January.

Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) extended an invitation to the group to participate in a performance of Handel’s Messiah on the DCINY Concert Series in New York City. This performance in Isaac Stem Auditorium at Carnegie Hall will take place on Sunday, November 25, 2018.

Congratulations to Tina and the GPRC Concert Choir singers on this wonderful achievement and recognition.

Star Student Reflection of the 2017 President’s Ball

Star Student Reflection of the 2017 President’s Ball

Winds of Change were in the air on Saturday, October 21, 2017, as we celebrated our 31st annual President’s Ball.

For the last three years, one of the most loved aspects of the President’s Ball is showcasing our amazing GPRC students.

Every year, before the glitz and the glam come to life, a call out is placed for instructors within the College to nominate students who shine!

Star Students are students that stand out and shine for a variety of reasons.

Our instructors nominate students for being academic stars; or an outstanding volunteer involved in the college community; or a person who has shown significant improvement or made outstanding effort during his or her time at the College.

This year, we were lucky enough to have seven extraordinary students join us and be recognized at the 2017 President’s Ball.

Our 2017 Star Students at this year’s President’s Ball.

Now, the President’s Ball is a lot to take in.

It’s a night full of decadent dining, exciting auction packages, exceptional entertainment, an amazing raffle, stunning decor and the best company around in the city – oh and did we mention the sweet treats station? Our Star Student got to experience it all with their own personal table in the heart of the event.

We got to catch up with some of the Star Students after the magical evening to get their thoughts on their #PB2017 experience.

Check out what John, Jessica, Breanna and Alexis had to say!

John Goyetche
4th Year Heavy Equipment Technician

“I would like to take this opportunity to extend my thanks for both the nomination and award of being named a Star Student. Getting an invite to the Presidents Ball was an unexpected perk!

The warm welcome and support, I as a recipient of the Star Student award, received at the Presidents Ball was second to none. The whole experience was amazing and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to take part.”

To see why John was nominated to be one of our 2017 Star Students, click here.

We loved having John with us to join in on the celebration. Congratulations again!

Jessica Boos
4th Year Bachelor of Science in Nursing

“Being chosen as a Star Student for the 2017 President’s Ball was an incredible honor. The President’s Ball was a wonderful representation of the hard work of the individuals that organized and put the event on, the GPRC students that volunteered their time, and the generous contributions and support of the community. Attending the event was memorable as I was able to create new friendships with the other Star Students from the various educational departments at GPRC. Through creating these friendships with the Star Students we were able to identify our collective gratitude and appreciation of GPRC and how the college has made a positive impact on our experience and development as students in our chosen profession.”

To see why Jessica was nominated to be one of our 2017 Star Students, click here.

We loved having Jessica with us to join in on the celebration. Congratulations again!

Breanna Girvan
2nd Year Music University Transfer

“I had a wonderful time at the President’s Ball. I met great people and had absolutely delicious food. The band was energetic and played a variety of music for all ages. The Sweets and Popcorn Booth was pretty good too.”

 

To see why Breanna was nominated to be one of our 2017 Star Students, click here.

We loved having Breanna with us to join in on the celebration. Congratulations again!

Alexis Nellis
2nd Year Business Administration

“The President’s Ball was absolutely breathtaking. From the table decor to the live auction, everything was so extravagant! It was a great testament to those who put in so many hours and so much hard work to make it happen. It was my first time attending and it was unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of before. Seeing all the support that goes into making our college as wonderful as it is was refreshing. It’s so awesome knowing the community loves it’s College as much as us students do!”

To see why Alexis was nominated to be one of our 2017 Star Students, click here.

We loved having Alexis with us to join in on the celebration. Congratulations again!

The 2017 President’s Ball was a night to remember, and we’re so grateful to all the guests that were able to join us and make it such a special evening.

A huge thank you to all the sponsors, donors and guests who helped us raise funds in support of our students. Your generosity is helping GPRC move forward with ambitious plans that will have a vital impact in our region both in the short term and long into the future.

We are already looking forward to next year, and the amazing group of star students we’ll be recognizing at the 2018 President’s Ball. Although, we must say, our 2017 star students will be a tough act to follow.

Check out the photos from the 2017 President’s Ball here.