Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Auburn @ Carnegie Hall

I'm happy to say that William Powell of Auburn is one of the nicest guys you'll meet in the choral music profession. Here's the article about him conducting at Carnegie Hall this coming Saturday:

Professor conducts at Carnegie Hall

By Megan Smith
Associate Campus Editor

April 13, 2006

Performance date:
William Powell and a 31-member choir will perform at Carnegie Hall April 22.

William Powell, a University choral teacher, has conducted himself right to the top where all aspiring singers and musicians hope to be: Carnegie Hall.

In 2004, MidAmerica Productions invited Powell to lead a group of students to New York City and conduct a concert in Carnegie Hall.

“It’s got to be probably one of the highest honors that can be bestowed on a conductor,” Powell said.

Powell will travel with 31 volunteer singers from the men’s and women’s choruses and the Concert Choir.

The group will leave April 19, perform April 22 and return to Auburn April 23.

The performers will open with Mozart’s “Missabrevis in B-Flat,” which has six movements, and will end with Franz Jospeh Hyden’s “TeDeum.”

The estimated time of the performance is 25 minutes.

As for the pieces selected, Melissa Sconyers, one of the singers attending the trip, said it has taken a lot of time and preparation to learn them well.

“I’m kind of nervous. It’s some pretty difficult music,” Sconyers said.

Powell said he’s been impressed with the amount of time and dedication the volunteers have put into the concert.

“I’m real proud of their work and the progress they’ve made,” Powell said.

Four soloists will contribute to the performance. Powell said they were selected from a talent agency in New York.

Powell said he has been preparing for this concert since last semester and officially began rehearsals Mondays and Wednesdays this spring.

Sconyers said while she’s excited about going to Carnegie Hall, she’s had to watch her spending closely.

“I’m using all the money I saved this summer for the trip, and I’ve lived pretty tight this year,” Sconyers said.

The cost of the trip per person is more than $1,000.

“Their commitment is truly a financial one,” Powell said.

Jeff Loddo, another singer attending, said he was interested in the trip because he’s originally from New York.

“When Dr. Powell said we could go to Carnegie Hall, I jumped on it,” Loddo said.

Loddo said having the opportunity to sing in Carnegie Hall is a dream for him.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to do my whole life,” Loddo said.

Sconyers said since she has never been to New York, she wants to experience the Big Apple and be able to sing.

“I’ve never been to New York before, but I know being able to actually perform the music itself is unbelievable,” Sconyers said.

Powell said he hopes all the rehearsals and energy put into the concert will show to the audience.

While the process has been stressful and overwhelming at times, Powell said it has all been worth it.

“I am extremely honored to have been invited, and we’re looking forward to going there and doing our best and representing Auburn,” Powell said.

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