Last week a group of 28 very excited SCAS students from our St Columba Chamber Choir along with four of our alumni students and four teaching staff touched down in New York for a trip of a lifetime.

The Chamber Choir had been invited to travel to New York and form part of a massed choir to perform at Carnegie Hall on Sunday, November 11, which in the United States is Veteran’s Day, or Remembrance Day in Australia. The SCAS singers joined with other choirs from around the world to form the Distinguished Concerts Singers International (DCINY), known as a choir of distinction, under the baton of composer and conductor Paul Mealor.

Composed to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War, Professor Mealor has spent more than two years working with poet Dr Grahame Davies to create a ‘reflective and poignant tribute to peace’. Davies – who has a successful track record in writing for distinguished composers – has provided the words, while Professor Mealor has written the music for the 40-minute-long requiem for orchestra and choir. ‘Requiem: The Souls of The Righteous’ was performed for the first time at St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh on September 22 by the National Youth Choir of Scotland and Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and then again on November 11 at Carnegie Hall.

The group arrived a few days prior to the concert and had two chorus rehearsals and one full dress rehearsal, before the performance at Carnegie Hall on Sunday. Following the performance, performers and VIPs were invited to a post concert reception, where our students presented Professor Mealor with an Aussie Akubra hat. 

Students and staff also had the opportunity during their visit to explore the Big Apple, visiting all the iconic New York locations including Central Park, Times Square, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, the new World Trade Centre and the Statue of Liberty. Some students also attended performances of Phantom of the Opera at the Majestic Theatre, Wicked at the Gershwin Theatre, and even a service at the First Corinthian Baptist Church.