Wednesday, September 18, 2019

USTF Student Yuina Waugh Performs at Carnegie Hall in New York City

Any musician can tell you that the prospect of performing at the legendary venue of Carnegie Hall in New York is something they can only dream of. I, along with some peers in the University Chorale, had this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do so under Dr. Lisa Billingham this past May. The opportunity was first presented to us during the Fall 2018 semester, and over the next few months, we rehearsed our piece – Requiem for the Living by Dan Forrest. We held a concert to present the piece to our local friends here at Mason one week before the Carnegie performance, and had great reception. That following Friday, we set out for New York. Saturday, Sunday, and Monday mornings were dedicated to the full-choir rehearsals of the combined choirs of the University Chorale, Sullivan County Community Chorus, and Morris Knolls High School Chorale, for a grand total of almost 150 vocalists. On Tuesday afternoon, we had the dress rehearsal and had the chance to step onto the stage in the Stern Auditorium for the first time. That evening, we had our performance, starting at 8 PM. Our choir was the first of the three performances scheduled for the night, and we absolutely nailed it. I remember being overwhelmed by many different emotions as we stepped off the stage, as were many others; some with tears, some with a grin from ear to ear, you name it. After the performance, we had the opportunity to go on a dinner cruise down the Hudson, and we got to see many sights from the river, including Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Overall, the trip was filled with lots of fun, hard work, exploration, and excitement, and I hope to do something like this again in the near future.