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Volume 26, Number 7 — July 2019

Local choir performs at Carnegie Hall

The Highlands Youth Ensemble in front of Carnegie Hall
The Highlands Youth Ensemble in front of Carnegie Hall

July 27, 2016

The Highlands Youth Ensemble recently traveled to New York City to perform in world-famous Carnegie Hall. "We have had an amazing year," says Artistic Director Jane DeLoach Morison. "We found out last June that we were selected as one of 16 performing choirs (out of 106 auditioning choirs) for the 2016 American Choral Directors Association Southern Division Conference. We had a fantastic time performing for all the choral directors in Chattanooga. Then a few weeks ago, we were thrilled to not only join with other choirs from the United States, Canada, and Australia to perform Morten Lauridsen's "Lux Aeterna" on June 12, but we also had a solo concert on June 11."

For the Carnegie Hall concert "Echoes of Deserts and Mountains" the Highlands Youth Ensemble performed five selections, and received a wonderful review. "This ensemble was well prepared and gave highly polished performances. Highlights were the energetic "Jubilate Deo' and the beautiful Psalm 8 (with violinist Natalie Lugo). After the "Gloria' (with kudos for soloists Sarah Shipp and Brenna Williams), the large audience gave the singers a standing ovation."

"It was a dream come true to have one of our choirs perform such an amazing concert on that famous stage, and to have the audience show that kind of appreciation for the hard work of our singers was icing on the cake," says Morison.

While the choir was in New York City they toured Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, went to a Broadway show, visited museums, Central Park, the Empire State Building and many other sites. "It was exciting for our singers to have the time to really experience New York City. I am amazed at all the places they visited. One would think we were there for weeks," Morison says.

Morison has some news about this coming year too, "I have been invited to conduct a Children's Chorus next June made up of treble choirs from around the country, and members of our own East Tennessee Children's Choir are eligible to go on that trip. I was really surprised to receive another invitation so soon to return to Carnegie Hall, but who would say "no' to that. I am looking forward to working with a lot of wonderful young musicians, including our East Tennessee Children's Choir singers."

Auditions for the East Tennessee Children's Choir are held Aug. 22, 4-5:30 p.m., at Central Baptist Church in Johnson City, Tennessee. No preparation is necessary. For more information about auditions, or the Mountain Empire Children's Choral Academy, visit or call Jane Morison at 276-645-5785.