If “practice” were still the answer to the age-old question, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” then the talented voices of Yavapai College’s Master Chorale would have been there by now.

But it’s also a journey with significant travel costs. So, the Yavapai College Foundation has launched a fundraiser to help local voices sing Verdi’s “Requiem” at one America’s most hallowed performance halls.

“The opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” YC Vocal Music Professor Dr. Joshua Harper said. “The history of this iconic performance venue along with the opportunity to sing one of the most famous musical works there – is an unparalleled experience for students.”

The March 2023 trip will include 38 students, drawn from Yavapai College’s Master Chorale and Chorale singers. They will perform Verdi’s “Requiem” as part of a 250-person chorus, under the direction of Cailin Marcel Manson, a colleague of Dr. Harper and the director of the Concert Choir and Chamber Chorus at Clark University in Worcester, MA. “We’ll fly into New York March 8,” Harper said, “for three days of rehearsal, a dress rehearsal, then we perform March 11. The producer, Mid-America Productions, has arranged a little cruise to celebrate afterwards. Then we fly back March 12.” The trip, with flight, lodging and amenities, is expected to cost $20,000.

For Harper, the trip revives a Yavapai College tradition. “Before I got here, the Master Chorale had a long history of tours and travel. [Former Director] Dr. Will Fisher took them to Mexico and Europe. Jim Klein took them on international tours.” Harper and Dr. Craig Ralston, Yavapai College Performing Art Center’s Director of Programming and Development, had resolved to continue the tradition, but COVID delayed their plans. “For me, as a music student, tours like this made my dreams start to become a reality,” Harper said. “There’s something about actually going to places like Carnegie Hall, meeting other students like yourself, singing in these venues. It opens up your world view.”

Financed by railroad baron Andrew Carnegie as a gift to the City of New York, Carnegie Hall opened its doors at the corner of Seventh Avenue and 57th Street in May 1891. The venue rapidly established itself as a benchmark for the finest music and musicians in the world. Geniuses of every musical genre – from Gustav Mahler to Billie Holiday; from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky to Benny Goodman, Judy Garland, and the Beatles – have coveted its stages and filled its seats to the point where the very name “Carnegie Hall” has become synonymous for musical excellence.

The Yavapai College Foundation has featured the Choral Fund’s Carnegie Hall initiative on the Just Giving platform. Interested donors or fundraising groups can visit the Yavapai College Choral Tour Fund and pledge any level of support. The Choral Tour Fund closes December 31, 2022. For further information on the Yavapai College Foundation, or the Choral Tour Fund, please contact the YCF at (928) 776-2025.