What’s cooler than visiting New York City with your classmates? How about getting to perform at Carnegie Hall together? As part of our Winterim program, where all students spend a week in February experiencing hands-on learning opportunities, 10 members of the GPS Singers from the upper school will get to check off an item on nearly every singers’ bucket list: perform at Carnegie Hall.
Emily K. Tousek ’01, Choral Director, coordinated the trip that includes site-seeing, shopping, dining, activities, and the requisite rehearsals at the Hall. Emily, who has performed at Carnegie Hall, says the trip will be her third residency through Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) and her second opportunity to serve as an ensemble director. The performance is a first for GPS students, who will also sing alongside their McCallie friends.
“We are so honored to perform in a mass choir, led by the highly regarded conductor Dr. Tucker Biddlecombe of Vanderbilt University on the stage of Carnegie Hall,” Emily says. “The work being performed by the choir of 267 singers from around the United States is ‘The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass’ by Carol Barnett.” Emily explains that the piece fuses the choral setting of the traditional Latin mass with elements of bluegrass music, which has its origins in the southeastern United States.
The GPS Singers will spend the first few days of their Winterim rehearsing on campus before traveling to the Big Apple on February 15. On Friday, February 16, after a day of sight-seeing, the students will perform at the Redeye Grill at an event with invited area alumni from both GPS and McCallie. Their Carnegie Hall performance will be Sunday, February 18, followed by a DCINY gala dinner.
“The girls are so excited for this trip,” Emily says, “and I am thrilled to get to experience it along with them. GPS provides so many wonderful, immersive learning opportunities for our students, and it’s such an honor to be able to plan and enjoy it as a teacher.”