January 17, 2017
It was a crisp NYC morning, as tens of dance and choir groups unloaded at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, well-prepared to give the performances of a lifetime. Each group was quickly escorted to their respective dressing rooms, and dress rehearsals began. Both run throughs went smoothly, and rather than the typical backstage chaos, everyone stayed calm and somewhat relaxed.
At Lincoln Center, even the youngest dancers, starting at four or five years old, acted professional. The backstage crew was humbled to watch two youngsters’ jaws drop as they looked out on the 2,700 seat audience. For many the sheer size of David Geffen Hall would be terrifying; however, these dancers fought through their nerves gracefully. Usually dancing on New York City’s finest stages is a once in a lifetime experience, but Performing Arts Educators is so grateful to provide young artists with this opportunity annually. We also want to acknowledge the well oiled machine that is the Lincoln Center staff. They welcomed our groups with open arms and were a key component of our production’s success.
By 2pm both shows were in full swing. Carnegie Hall felt electric as the gorgeous choral voices echoed through the hall. Tony Award winner Chuck Cooper began the show with a beautiful song, which he sang a capella. Each choir also brought their own flare to the production, which made for a dynamic show. The singers’ enthusiasm was contagious; they truly appreciated what it means to perform at Carnegie Hall, one of the most famous venues in the world. Many performers may be intimidated by this prestigious venue, but not these singers. They were up for the challenge and all sounded so cohesive, especially in the breathtaking finale, musically directed by Peggy Dettwiler of Mansfield University.
Overall, PAE cannot express how thankful we are to everyone who made this MLK weekend a success. 2 shows, 2 venues, 1 PAE staff, 1 date and 1 time. Our shows went on without a hitch and we owe it all to our great partners.
Remember to use the hashtag #PAEtakesNYC to see any social media posts about our NYC takeover!
Hope to see you all next year!