This message from Lynn Sjolund sent to us on March of 2020 expresses the excitement of the 1999-2000 season, still palpable twenty years later:
It was just 20 years ago that the Chorale was singing in Carnegie Hall! Barbara Johnson called me and reminded me of the date and it brought back great memories. Of course I remember it like no other performance we ever had. Others may have greater and longer and louder, but none were like the atmosphere of that wonderful concert house. I will bet that anyone who was there remembers it as I do, and has their own story to add to it.
Walking the halls and seeing all of the autographed pictures of artists and composers for about a hundred years and realizing what they had done was almost overwhelming. WE WERE THERE IN THAT VERY PLACE.
Biebl, Morley, Vaughan Williams, Rachmaninoff and more… (a great line-up for a great hall).
Remember the Russian gentleman who said he cried when we sang the Rachmaninoff Ave Maria? He said “I thought I would never hear an American choir sing that wonderful piece.
I remember waiting to be called to the stage for the performance while I was waiting in the room reserved for conductors and artists like Leonard Bernstein, Gustav Mahler, Aaron Copland and Peter Illyich Tchaikovsky, Gregor Piatagorsky, Dimitri Metropolous, and a thousand more. Heavy load!
You might want to pass this on to the Chorale. . . with my congratulations once again.
P. S. I still have my T-shirt with the inscription “Carnegie Hall – If you haven’t played it, you haven’t made it.”
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