Troy University’s Concert Chorale has been formally invited to perform in Carnegie Hall this May, courtesy of Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY), and is currently striving to raise enough funds for the trip.
The chorale was asked to perform the music of Eric Barnum along with two other schools.
Barnum and Diane Orlofsky, the conductor of Concert Chorale, developed a friendship when the choir performed one of Barnum’s works in 2011.
“I approached him about writing a commissioned work for us,” Orlofsky said. “He wrote the piece ‘Confessions’… it really spoke to a lot of our people.”
Last spring, Concert Chorale celebrated its 10th year of being active on campus, and Orlofsky said she was so moved by the first piece that she approached Barnum again.
He chose ‘Evensong,’ a poem by Ridgely Torrence. “We performed the song at our spring concert, and it was another special moment for our students,” Orlofsky said.
A few weeks after the concert, Orlofsky received the invitation for Concert Chorale to perform at Carnegie Hall.
“I was blown away,” Orlofsky said. “The students’ reaction was priceless. Now we’re in the process of getting there.”
To raise funds for the trip, students in the choir have developed a fundraising committee. One of the committee members, Sarah Hunt, a senior theater major from Huntsville, said the cost of the trip will exceed $1,000 a person.
“The hope is that donations will bring the individual costs down,” Hunt said. “It’s a big honor for Troy University, but we can’t get there without some help.”
Dan Johnson, a senior music education major from Atmore and co-chair of the fundraising committee, said this trip will be his first to New York.
“I’ve never been to NYC before, so I’m looking forward to the city itself,” Johnson said. “And to perform at such a renowned place as Carnegie Hall … we will carry this experience with us throughout our lives.”
Johnson shares the chair position with Shelly Alexander, a senior music education major from Panama City, Florida, who said the group was already making multiple fundraising efforts.
“We are actively writing letters to businesses and individuals asking for donations,” Alexander said. “The goal is to get all of chorale to Carnegie for as little as possible.”
Committee member Patrick Greene, a junior music education major from Milton, Florida, said he has been in contact with multiple businesses and organizations in the Troy area, and he wants to bring as much exposure to the group as he can.
“We’ve been organizing some spirit night fundraisers,” Greene said. “Just getting our name out there is important … we’ve been selected for this prestigious thing, and that deserves recognition.”
The committee has also made donation jars for local businesses. Greene said, so far, the reaction has been positive and helpful.
“We’ve already gotten some donations from people,” Greene said. “Any little bit helps. New York is not a cheap place.”
Concert Chorale will also be hosting multiple fundraising events throughout the year.
Anyone who wishes to make an individual donation can visit 112 Long Hall. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 334-808-6298.
Founded in 2007 by Iris Derke and Jonathan Griffith, DCINY “is the leading producer of dynamically charged musical excellence. With its unforgettable concert experiences in renowned venues, empowering educational programs, and its global community of artists and audiences, DCINY changes lives through the power of performance,” according to its website.