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.