My son’s choir was offered an opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall. It’s not like Carnegie was begging them to travel to NYC for a pre-sold audience. We paid handsomely for the trip.
I was conflicted about this, because I always knew of the supreme greats performing there. In 1892, the New York Symphony began performing there, and graduates marched across the stage. Legends such as Itzhak Perlman, Vienna Boys Choir, Judy Garland and The Beatles played Carnegie Hall.
How do you get there?
Carnegie Hall in my mind is synonymous with best in show. So, how did my little mid-western high school earn an invitation?
There’s an organization whose mission it is to give students travel opportunities tied to the arts. (Oh my goodness. What an ingenious cash cow.) They earned their Carnegie invite by winning first place in a festival a year ago. They further distinguished themselves by being selected to perform as a featured choir, singing separately from the other two hundred kids from across this great nation that later joined them on stage.
We could not, we would not let an opportunity like this go uncelebrated. We flew to NYC and had a great time exploring the city. And then, we went to the esteemed Carnegie Hall.
It is a magnificent building. It is enchanting, to imagine all those who have come before. My husband and I sported tears at the end of our son’s choir performance. In that moment it mattered not how they got to Carnegie Hall. It only mattered that they were there. They crushed it on that stage.
And at the end of life, when these youngsters become geriatrics, they’ll be able to tell the tale of how they once stood in that great venue and sang with voice and heart. It’s an experience that cannot be undone. It was worth it.