Fridley Alumni Choir invited to perform in New York City

The Fridley Alumni Choir will be heading to the Big Apple this June to perform at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

The choir was invited in October by Distinguished Concerts International New York City to participate in a performance of Ola Gjeilo’s Dark Night of the Soul, Luminous Night of the Soul, and The Ground on the Concert Series in New York City.

Ola Gjeilo’s work has been performed all over the world and his choral pieces have been featured on Phoenix Chorale’s bestselling “Northern Lights” album, which is devoted entirely to his music for choir. The album went on to be named the Best Classical Vocal Album of the Year by iTunes and to earn Gjeilo praise as a “rising star” in the classical music world.

“We were selected by the personal recommendation given by Gjeilo,” said Fridley Alumni Choir member Sherry O’Donnell. “We are incredibly honored to have been asked to perform.”

Back in 2015, the Fridley Alumni Choir celebrated their 20th anniversary, and to commemorate the milestone, the vocal group tapped Gjeilo to create the original piece, “Out of The Ashes,” which was dedicated to the former choir director Dave Ryan.

“It is quite an honor just to be invited to perform in New York,” said Dr. Jonathan Griffith, artistic director and principal conductor for DCINY. “These wonderful musicians not only represent a high quality of music and education, but they also become ambassadors for the entire community. This is an event of extreme pride for everybody and deserving of the community’s recognition and support.”

The performance will take place in David Geffen Hall (formerly known as Avery Fisher Hall) at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, June 4.

The alumni choir will join forces with several other choristers from across the country to form the Distinguished Concerts Singers International, a choir of distinction. Dr. James Meaders will serve as conductor of the performance and clinician for the residency and Gjeilo will serve as the pianist for the performance.

The singers will spend approximately 9-10 hours in rehearsals over the 5-day residency.

“We are going to be a part of a huge choir of about 200 singers,” said O’Donnell. “It is very challenging music so we have dedicated a lot of time learning it so that has been rewarding but the ultimate reward will be performing in such a special venue. It is just mind boggling. We are really excited to share our love of performing with an audience.”

Although the entire choir was invited, only eight singers will be traveling to New York City in June.

“Because it is in New York not everyone can make it but those that can are excited to represent Fridley,” said O’Donnell.

Those attending include Wanda Hart, Debra Johnson, Arlys Krauter, Tresa Saner, Nancy Novak, Janice E Beauduy, Julie Ottomeyer and Sherry O’Donnell.

Contact Sam Lenhart at [email protected]