So how do you get to Carnegie Hall? Turns out that all you actually need to do is join a choir which books it as a performance venue, then you’re all set!
The house seats around 2800 people, mainly in shallow balconies clinging to the back wall, making for an enormous cavern-like space. Despite having been to several concerts there I hadn’t properly appreciated that before, and the view from the stage was more than a little intimidating:
An afternoon of rehearsal gave us plenty to focus on, then it was time to leave the stage and find our way up to the dressing rooms (or out into the snow to get food/coffee) and enjoy a break before the performance.
And here we all are – the Cecilia Chorus of New York with orchestra and soloists, and our wonderful conductor Mark Shapiro – ready to perform Bach’s Christmas Oratorio!
I can’t say I enjoyed the experience entirely – despite significant cuts the piece ran to over two hours of performance (as one of my friends who was kind enough to attend commented afterwards, “that’s a lot of Bach”!) – we were fairly squished on stage, and performing is my least favourite part of the choir thing, but I’m still delighted to have had the opportunity, and it really was a tremendous experience.