A Standing Ovation for Lynbrook High School Choir Students

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Last month, on the prestigious stage of Carnegie Hall in New York City, 120 Lynbrook High School choir students showcased their talents during their culminating performances at the Choral Convergence Festival. With the guidance of music teacher Barry Wyner, the members of the school’s concert choir and mixed choir participated in the two-day event produced by Choirs of America, which featured a total of 12 different choirs from around the country. 

At the start of the festival, the music students visited Queens College where an adjudicated performance took place at LeFrak Concert Hall, part of Queens College Aaron Copland School of Music. The group also participated in a choral workshop with clinician Dr. Tim Sharp, observed choirs from around the country perform and engaged in a choral workshop with composer Jake Runestad. This workshop was special for the students as the group performed two of Runestad’s pieces at Carnegie Hall the following evening. 

With Lynbrook administrators, board members, teachers, loved ones and schools from around the country looking on, Lynbrook’s concert choir and mixed choir performed several memorable songs at Carnegie Hall. These included the concert choir singing “The Road Home” by Stephen Paulus, “No Time” by Susan Brumfield and the Pentatonix version of “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen. The mixed choir performed “Omnia Sol” by Z. Randall Stroope and “I Sing Because I'm Happy” by Rollo Dilworth.

In addition to Runestad being present for the performances, two of the other composers, Dr. Dilworth and Dr. Ames, whose work the students sang, were also in attendance. Wyner stated that leading up to the big moment, he felt nervous anticipation but once the students made it out onto the stage, it all dissipated. They sang their hearts out and received huge ovations. 

“The powerful sensation of that thunderous applause, coupled with the image of the sold-out audience rising to its feet, is something that will always stay with me,” he said. “I had been waiting many months to sing with my students on that stage and it did not disappoint. In fact, it greatly exceeded my expectations. Seeing our Lynbrook students shine that brightly was honestly one of the proudest moments not just of my career, but my life.” 

To top off the memorable experience, Lynbrook High School choir students also had the opportunity to perform four songs with a massed choir of about 350 singers from various choirs around the country, conducted by master chorale conductor Dr. Anton Armstrong. For the final song of the evening, the students were joined by another massed choir, for an impressive total of about 700 singers.