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Methodist College choir to hit high notes at New York premiere

By Luke Barnes

Published 13/10/2016

The choir from Methodist College, Belfast, who will sing in Carnegie Hall, New York
The choir from Methodist College, Belfast, who will sing in Carnegie Hall, New York
The choir from Methodist College, Belfast, who will sing in Carnegie Hall, New York

There's only one way to get to Carnegie Hall, the old New York jokes goes - practice.

And for Methodist College's Chapel Choir, all their hard work has paid off.

The award-winning Belfast group is heading to New York city on November 16 to perform in Howard Goodall's Eternal Light Requiem.

Goodall is an Emmy Award-winning composer who created the themes for several famous TV shows, including Mr Bean and Blackadder.

The premiere will take place at Carnegie Hall, one of New York's most famous and prestigious venues.

The Northern Irish singers will be joined by choir singers from across the US, as well as Mexico and Canada and even further afield.

Choir director Ruth McCartney said: "We feel very honoured to be the only school choir in Europe chosen to sing in this premiere and felt this was an opportunity not to be missed.

"Our choirs have performed Howard Goodall's music in the past.

"In fact, we commissioned a piece by him in 2009. His music is very accessible and the young people enjoy singing it.

"To perform in a US premiere in Carnegie Hall is a tremendous opportunity and something the choir will never ever forget. We are all very excited about singing in this magnificent venue. The pupils are working very hard to make every note secure."

Methodist Chapel Choir has held 11 residencies in Westminster Abbey over recent years, singing choral services during the holiday seasons.

They also sang for the Queen when she visited Dublin in 2012, and have also won the UTV Choir of the Year and RTE Choir of the Year competitions.

Discussing the Eternal Light Requiem, Goodall said: "I stripped down the old Latin texts to a few phrases and in each movement laid beside them words from English poems from across the last 500 years."

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