Choir travels to New York City to perform at famous Carnegie Hall

Sophia Musante

ART INSPIRATIONS: Alto I and II Chamber Singers smile for the camera on Valentine’s Day during their trip to Carnegie Hall.

Members of Chamber Singers, Bel Canto and Wolverine Chorus performed in Carnegie Hall during a trip to New York on Feb. 13 to 17.

The concert, titled “What is Home,” included performances by the National Concert Chorus, the National Treble Chorus and two additional featured choruses.

Members of Chamber Singers and Wolverine Chorus sang with the National Concert Chorus and members of Bel Canto performed in conjunction with the National Treble Chorus. All three ensembles, led by choral teacher Zanaida Robles, sang together in one of the featured performances.

Reflecting on their success

“We were striving to perform with excellence, demonstrating our skills on a grand and historic stage under the guidance of world-class choral conductors [and] composers in the presence of other student singers from across the country,” Robles said. “I feel confident that we achieved this goal.”

Bel Canto member Camryn Williams ’22 said she enjoyed singing in the National Treble Chorus because it allowed her to meet singers of varying ages and backgrounds.

“The most special part of it for me was when all of the Harvard-Westlake choirs came together to sing the songs in our showcase,” Williams said. “Our performance was phenomenal and as we were finishing singing our last song, ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing,’ I was on the verge of tears hearing the echo of the applause from the audience. It was an experience I’ll never forget.”

Bel Canto member Mariela Breidsprecher ’21 said that singing in Carnegie Hall was incredibly memorable and she felt emotional after the final performance.

“I’ve [sung] in Carnegie Hall once before, but I didn’t feel the way I felt performing with my old school choir than what I did with my Harvard-Westlake choir,” Breidsprecher said. “I think my biggest goal was not [to get] every note and every lyric right but instead to feel like I was a part of something. I definitely feel like I achieved this goal, because I felt this incredible sense of belonging with my choir and I felt really powerful.”
Exploring the city strengthened the choir’s camaraderie and its ability listen to each other while singing, Chamber Singers member Lilah Weisman ’20 said.

Making memories

“My goals for this trip had to do with my memories of the choir trip to Canada in my sophomore year, which was such a memorable experience and chance to make friends with the upperclassmen in choir,” Weisman said. “I hoped that I could get closer with some underclassmen during this trip to New York and make this trip their Canada.”
Weisman also said the trip helped her forge deeper connections with the younger members of the choir.

“I hoped that I could get closer with some underclassmen during this trip to New York,” Weisman said. “In general, I thought that our choir needed a stronger overall bond to motivate us to perform our best, and I think this trip fulfilled that necessity.”

Bel Canto member Hope Shinderman ’21 said she is looking forward to developing the relationships she formed on the trip to an even further extent.

“This is my second year in Bel Canto and I have no intention of leaving that group,” Shinderman said. “Being in a women’s ensemble is such an amazing experience because of the unique repertoire we get to perform and the deeper bonds that we develop with our peers through shared experiences as women.”

Robles said she noticed how well the students bonded with singers from other choirs that performed at Carnegie Hall with them.

“My favorite part of the trip was watching my students interact and perform brilliantly both on their own and with participants from other choirs,” Robles said. “I grew so much from this trip. I learned how to be flexible with my students, while still honoring boundaries which were necessary for our safety.”