How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.
And William Wyman’s music students have put in plenty of practice in preparation for their May 26th performance at one of the world’s most prestigious concert venues.
“To be able to perform at Carnegie Hall is arguably the end goal of any musician,” said Wyman, professor of music. “Just walking on that stage knowing who has already walked on that stage is in and of itself an excitement and a thrill if you’re a musician.”
The May 26thperformance marks the fourth time in eight years that NWU students have had the opportunity to perform on that stage. Previously the University Choir performed at Carnegie Hall with other choirs from across the country. This time is different.
“I wanted this to be an all Wesleyan project,” said Wyman.
Last year Wyman extended an invitation to each of his former music students, which he estimates to be in the thousands from his 43 years of directing choirs at Nebraska Wesleyan. He also invited three Nebraska high school choirs — all directed by NWU alumni — to perform with them in New York City.
“I am excited to sing for Dr. Wyman again,” said Ty Hanke, who is bringing along the Bennington High School Choir. “He has been a mentor of mine for 15 years and I am always learning from him. Now my students get to benefit from him and the experience as a whole.”
When the first note plays, the stage will be filled with over 200 NWU alumni, three high school choirs and several members of Nebraska Wesleyan’s University Choir.
Allison Stoppkotte, a junior music major from North Platte, looks forward to the opportunity to perform on stage as well as the opportunity to network.
“This will be a great thing to put on my resume,” she said.
Alumnus Georg Getty is bringing his choir from Omaha Northwest High School.
“I want my students to be able to travel and perform in a world-class venue,” he said. “Traveling and music are my two greatest passions. It can be a life-changing, perspective-shifting experience and I want my students to experience that first-hand.”
And when they sing the final note to “Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy,” all that practice to get to Carnegie Hall will have been worth it.
“It’s astounding and gratifying,” said Wyman.
—Story by Emmalie Harris, public relations intern