Carnegie students strut their stuff

Know and Go: WHAT: 2011 Lincoln High School Choral Spring Concert, featuring a slide show of the Select Choir’s trip in April to New York City WHEN: 7 p.m. Wednesday WHERE: Lincoln High School Theater, 790 J St. PRICE: $5 general admission and $3 students
By: Stephanie Dumm News Messenger Reporter
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Forget just knowing how to get to Carnegie Hall. The Lincoln High School select choir not only raised enough money to visit New York City in April but also took to the stage with 400 other high school students at Carnegie Hall. The school’s choir director Cindy Hagman said the choir performed a “big variety of songs.” “There were six songs, from classical and contemporary to traditional spiritual,” Hagman said. Songs included “Daniel, Servant of the Lord,” “Ritmo,” and “Bach Sanctus IIII.” The choir worked for 11 months to raise money for the trip, which cost each student $2,300 for travel, lodging, food, and tickets, according to Hagman. “We would like to thank all of the Lincoln community who made the trip possible,” Hagman said. The 22-member choir raised trip funds through benefit concerts, fireworks sales and chores, according to previous News Messenger reports. The April 1 through April 4 trip included three hours a day in rehearsal and then sightseeing at New York City sites such as Times Square, Central Park, Ground Zero and Rockefeller Center. Nicole Powell, 19, described the trip as “so much fun.” The students took a behind the scenes tour of the famous hall. “I’ve been to New York City before but it was a long time ago. Some of it I didn’t remember, like Radio City Music Hall,” Powell said. “We toured it again and it was huge and amazing.” “Mamma Mia” is the Broadway show students attended. Student Gabe Fanire, 15, was inspired by the show. “I want to sing on Broadway when I grow up,” Gabe said. “I’ll practice hard.” Central Park provided Gabe’s “No. 1 memory.” “I sang a song with a random saxophone player. When we walked into the park, he called us over and said, ‘Do you want me to play something?’” Gabe said. “I said ‘I Want You Back’ by Michael Jackson, and he’d heard the song before.” Powell said visiting Ground Zero was the best part of the trip. “That was very emotional,” she said. “It was a memorial, the grave of all of the people that died.” Performing at Carnegie Hall was also important to the students. “Oh my gosh, the stage was the best. It looked like gold,” Powell said. “The acoustics in the room made the sound so powerful. It was like this amazing emotion came over (me), like triumphant.” Gabe said he wasn’t nervous, but excited, to perform at the hall. “Carnegie Hall was a very amazing building, packed full of people,” Gabe said. “I don’t get nervous on stage, but it was a weird feeling, a good, but weird, feeling (to perform).” Hagman was proud of her students and was also excited to visit New York City for the first time. “It was so great. There was so much to see and do,” Hagman said. “The students had 12 hours of rehearsal total. We saw a lot of stuff and they worked very hard as a group.” In addition to performing as a group, two choir members were highlighted on their own. Brett Berger filled in as accompanying pianist for one song when the scheduled pianist was not there and Alex De Matos sang a solo verse during the song, “Daniel Servant of Our Lord.” “I feel like the choir program at Lincoln High School is going to be different because of this trip,” Hagman said. “It was really a push out of our comfort zone to learn this level of music we were required to learn but made all of us step up a notch in our musicianship.”