2 years ago yesterday, I got to sing at Carnegie Hall. That sentence seems very surreal to write. The experience itself was totally surreal. Growing up in the church, as a pastor’s kid, a performance venue like Carnegie Hall was never on my radar. Only churches. But it was a once in a lifetime, life-changing event.
The most amazing part was how it happened. I was a church music minister and at the end of 2018, I got an email from a representative of Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) who said, “We’ve seen that your choir has performed Joseph Martin cantatas. He’s premiering one next November at Carnegie Hall and we’d like to invite your choir to participate.”
The old saying: “How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice” is quite true, but it also works to be able to pay your way for an event like this. And it was unbelievable. I have sung in some beautiful sounding spaces, and Carnegie Hall is one to behold. It was amazing to be accompanied by a professional orchestra, standing on the stage that so many musical greats stood on.
It was definitely the highlight of my career as a musician. It changed my life and reminded me how much I had missed performing music. Since college, I had only directed music, not participated in making it, outside of playing the organ. Singing was always something I loved doing, and it awoke something deep inside of me.
The experience seems like it was just yesterday, and also far away. It is difficult to put into words, but those unexpected surprises are usually the best ones!