Caldwell, N.J., April 16, 2018 – Performing at Carnegie Hall is a musician’s dream. “It takes years of hard work to get there,” said Eric Dieterle, a member of the Caldwell University chorale, who had the thrill of taking to the stage in the 2018 Harmonic Convergence Concert at Carnegie Hall on April 6.
Dieterle and the other members of the chorale, led by music faculty member Dr. Laura Greenwald, took part in the concert, the culminating performance of the Choirs of America (COA) Nationals for Top Choirs. Caldwell’s chorale was one of several ensembles that performed a mix of massed choir and individual choral repertoire. The evening concluded with all of the singers performing in the finale, a world-premiere COA-commissioned choral piece by Dr. Rosephanye Powell. “I’m so proud that the Caldwell University chorale was able to rise to the occasion and to perform at such a prestigious venue,” said Dieterle.
Caldwell’s chorale is comprised of students, alumni, faculty, staff and community members. They spent the day before the concert being adjudicated at the Aaron Copland School of Music by Joshua Habermann, chorus director of the Dallas Orchestra Chorus and artistic director of the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, as well as meeting other choirs and hearing them perform. They also rehearsed the premiere, “Get Busy,” with the composer. Greenwald was delighted to greet Powell, a classmate from her days at Westminster Choir College. On Friday all of the ensembles had the opportunity to rehearse briefly and to have photos taken on the Carnegie Hall stage, a joy for all the members.
Caldwell chorale member Alison Self, who works in the English Department, said it was inspiring to share the stage and to create music with friends and colleagues and many talented singers from across the country. She said that “the opportunity to work under the tutelage of renowned composers and conductors was both educational and fun.”
Dieterle, a communication and media studies major with a music minor, said the Caldwell music faculty made it happen. “Dr. Greenwald did such a fantastic job organizing the trip as well as preparing us for the occasion. She made the whole experience feel professional while keeping it fun and lighthearted at the same time. Mr. Helms, our accompanist, also played a vital role in helping the choir learn the music for the concert; we couldn’t have done it without him. Professor Vega also helped us keep everything organized and prepared at our rehearsals and Carnegie Hall on Friday.”
Miriam Edelstein, a recent music education graduate, was happy to share the experience with her professor, Greenwald, a talented singer who has helped Edelstein shape her singing and music education goals. It was amazing “to sing next to her on stage,” said Edelstein, who is looking forward to pursuing a career in music therapy. “I know I can make a difference in someone’s life with music.” She had thought it was time to give up her performing days, but being on stage at Carnegie Hall made her realize she wants to continue singing while also pursing music therapy. Greenwald is helping her as she makes graduate school plans. “I’m very grateful and fortunate to have had her as a professor.”
Greenwald was thrilled to provide this opportunity for her students and to have sung with them on stage. “That is definitely a bucket-list moment, to stand on the historic stage of Carnegie with my students and colleagues. I’m so very grateful to our accompanist, Warren Helms, to my students, alumni, and colleagues for their dedication in making this happen.”