Chattanooga Boys Choir Performs In New York City’s Carnegie Hall

  • Sunday, June 16, 2024
The Chattanooga Boys Choir in Times Square
The Chattanooga Boys Choir in Times Square

Last week, 44 members of the Chattanooga Boys Choir capped their 2023-2024 season by traveling to New York City to perform as part of the National Youth Chorus, culminating in a performance on the famed stage of Carnegie Hall.

The choir’s residency, including a total of over 240 singers from across the country, was led by Chattanooga Boys Choir Artistic Director Vincent Oakes and Florida-based conductor Dr. Andrew Minear, conductor of the professional choir Orlando Sings.

The Carnegie Hall performance, following three days of intense rehearsal and preparation, included a varied and challenging program titled A Light Shines and the premiere performance of a new piece "Awaken" by famed composer Sherry Blevins that was composed especially for this choir and performed under Mr. Oakes’ direction. To further the choir members’ understanding of the new work and to assist their preparation, Mrs. Blevins met with the Chattanooga Boys Choir over Zoom during the week prior to the choir's travels to New York City.

The Chattanooga Boys Choir’s residency in New York City also included a masterclass with Chattanooga Boys Choir alum and Broadway musical veteran Scott Coulter. Mr. Coulter is a widely respected professional vocalist, performer, and producer who worked with the choir on various aspects of performance technique. The choir members enjoyed working with him and appreciated the significant personal connection given his own time spent as a member of the CBC.

In addition to the concert preparation and performance, the choir members had a full New York City itinerary, including: tours of Radio City Music Hall, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Rockefeller Center, Times Square, Top of the Rock and Central Park; the Broadway musical Wicked and the opportunity to visit with several members of the cast following the performance; authentic New York pizza, delis, street vendors, and famous eateries such as Angelina's Bakery and Ellen's Stardust Diner.

“An opportunity like this - performing on a grand stage, breathing life into a new work that has never been performed before, building community in an instant with hundreds of others for the common goal of staging an impressive performance - provides challenging opportunities which result in memories that these singers will treasure forever and talk about for the rest of their lives,” said Mr. Oakes.

"Singing in Carnegie Hall exceeded my expectations," said Tilson Boshears, CBC member. "It was exciting to come together with singers from across the country, connecting through music. The directors weaved together the music within each of us, making us one. I’m grateful for this opportunity and this experience of connection and community."

"It was such an honor to tour New York City with the Chattanooga Boys Choir," said Seth Jackson, CBC member. "This tour helped me realize that little acts of kindness can go a long way, no matter how far away you are from home. From encouraging younger choristers to thanking the bus driver when exiting the motorcoach, making everyone feel noticed, appreciated, and respected is a team effort."

"The lessons learned by the young men on this tour extended well beyond the amazing experience of music and culture in New York City," said Tracy Dozier, CBC parent. "This included lessons in responsibility, independence, teamwork, patience, gratitude, and positivity- lessons learned through the experience itself and also fostered by the amazing CBC staff and leadership."

The Chattanooga Boys Choir performing as part of the National Youth Chorus in Carnegie Hal;
The Chattanooga Boys Choir performing as part of the National Youth Chorus in Carnegie Hal;
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