LIBERTY-EYLAU HIGH SCHOOL CHOIR TO PERFORM AT CARNEGIE HALL
What is it like to perform in a historical concert hall that was built in 1891? Just what does it feel like to stand on a stage where Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald once stood? Students in the Liberty-Eylau High School choir are about to have the experience of a lifetime! The LEHS Choir has been invited by Marc-André Bougie to perform in New York City at Carnegie Hall on April 28. The trip will be a very fun and educational trip that will provide a once in a lifetime opportunity for those involved.
Sherri Pickering is currently in her fourth year as the director of the Liberty-Eylau High School choirs and had the privilege of performing in Carnegie Hall with her college choir under the direction of her professor, Dr. Burt Allen. Sherri is a native of Louisiana where she taught elementary and secondary music for two years before moving to Texas. She taught in Texarkana Independent School District for 13 years where she was the choral director at Texas Middle School and the assistant choral director at Texas High School before moving to LEISD.
Sherri has performed in lots of recital halls and venues, but says that her experience performing in Carnegie Hall is by far one of the most memorable experiences as a performer and teacher. She also states that when her students were invited to perform at Carnegie Hall, she knew immediately that she had to do whatever it took to make it happen. She truly believes that where there is a will there is a way. “The LE Choir has done many fundraisers and is very grateful to the people, restaurants, and other area businesses that have contributed to their trip thus far,” Sherri says. “While we still have many students working diligently to make their payments, it has amazed me to see how hard my students have hustled to make this happen.”
Senior LE Varsity Choir member, Cecilia Morgan, who was also chosen to represent Liberty-Eylau in the Texas All State Choir said, “Getting to go to such a big place while being from such a small town is amazing. The joy of getting to make people feel something while singing my heart out will always be such a blessing. Singing in such a profound, historical place will forever be a beautiful memory that will last in my heart forever.”
Senior Luisa Balderas is looking forward to the performance as well. “I believe that having the opportunity to go to New York and sing in Carnegie Hall is such a great achievement for our choir. It is very exciting to be a part of a choir that gets the privilege to do such things. It’s even more exciting to have this as a senior trip and to get to spend one last time with people who have become a family to me.”
Trey Pree, who is a bass All Region Choir member in the LE Varsity Choir, said, “New York is a place that I’ve been dreaming about my whole life. Now my dream is finally becoming a reality.”
Junior, Haley Pratt, is in her first year of choir and is representing the LE Varsity choir by going to State Solo & Ensemble on a class one solo. “I haven’t been in choir long, but I am so blessed and proud that our choir was selected for this amazing honor.”
Perhaps it can be best summarized in the words of senior Ashley Blackwell. “Performing at Carnegie Hall is such a great opportunity for us because it opens our eyes to bigger and better things and gives us a chance at an amazing life.”
The music is quite challenging and requires many hours of rehearsal. Sherri says, “Students must be dedicated and committed 100% to make this opportunity a success. The value of the arts is often overlooked in our society. In many ways music is the glue that holds our society together. Often what cannot be expressed in words, can be expressed in music. It is such a universal language. Music teaches students leadership skills, dedication, responsibility, and skills beyond measure. Music is truly life-changing.” The students will be performing the Mariazeller Mass in a concert on April 20 with TC Chorale and Veritas Academy at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Students will continue to raise funds and accept any and all donations to help lower the cost of their trip.