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Saint Mary’s choir to perform in Carnegie

ASHLEY CHARNLEY | Friday, February 5, 2010

Music professor Nancy Menk and members of the Saint Mary’s Women’s Choir will join other choirs in a performance at Carnegie Hall in New York City on Valentine’s Day.
The concert is entitled “Love, Lust and Light” and will begin at 2 p.m. in the Isaac Stern Auditorium.

This will be Menk’s fifth time conducting at Carnegie Hall.

The Saint Mary’s women will be joined by two local high school choirs, Laporte and Northwood, and two more high school choirs from California. The South Bend Chamber Singers and a group of singers from the Northwest Symphony Chorus will be also be attending.

“I was asked to do another [performance] and I agreed and the New York company that produces the concerts, there are several of these production companies in New York City, they asked me to suggest other choirs I would recommend who would be well prepared and would learn the music and might enjoy the experience,” Menk said.

Only a few members of the Saint Mary’s choir will be attending because it wasn’t required and not all of them could fit it into their schedules, Menk said. 

The choirs will first perform “Lux Aeterna” by composer Morteu Lauridsen, and will be accompanied by an orchestra.

During their time in New York, the members of the choir will have some time to explore the city.

“Some of [Saint Mary’s] girls’ parents are coming so they are going out with their parents,” Menk said. “There is a big reception, a dinner reception after the concert for everybody.”

Menk has rehearsed with the high school choirs and said she was pleased with how well prepared they were since time is limited to rehearse when they are in New York.

“We have nine hours of rehearsal in New York to sort of polish it, put it with the orchestra and everything,” she said.

Menk said she always enjoys performances in Carnegie Hall.

“It’s a beautiful place with great acoustics,” she said. “Music sounds wonderful in there. And there is just a lot of history and tradition that make it really memorable.”

She is also looking forward to the age diversity of the choir. Since there are multiple choirs coming together, it will be a challenge to have one voice.

“It’s kind of nice that it is a multi-generational choir with high school students, college students and adults. It’s a nice mix of people,” Menk said.

In the end, it is the history of the stage and feel she gets walking out onto it that Menk said she enjoys.

“When you walk on the stage you feel the tradition of it all,” Menk said. “You know it’s going to sound great and the concerts usually sell out so you always have a nice audience.”