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Students Perform at Carnegie Hall

The Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts Chamber Strings were initially invited to participate in the Field Studies International Music Festival held in Carnegie Hall after scoring a 98 in at the Heritage Music festival in Chicago in 2009. Heritage Festivals are held throughout the US and Canada. We were unable to attend the festival in 2010 so deferred to 2011. In order to be accepted in 2011, we needed to submit an audition CD in order to prove that we had maintained our performance standard. We were accepted.
Leading up to the Carnegie Hall performance, the Carter Chamber Strings won the open class of the Kiwanis music festival with a score of 94 and which also won them an invitation to the Toronto Kiwanis Finals where the string orchestra won the best group of the festival competition. These wins amounted to cash winnings of $4,000.00 which was put toward the cost to the trip to New York.
The experience of playing in Carnegie Hall was incredible for the students. The sound, standing on that stage, is almost indescribable as an artist. After we played the first chords of our first piece and I almost turned around to tell the audience and adjudicators that we would do it again because I knew never in my life time would I hear that again – hopefully one of the Carter grad’s will get that opportunity!
When we were done, the organizers took me to see the adjudicators - Dr. Frank Battisti, conductor emeritus at the New England Conservatory, Dr.Craig Kirchhoff, professor of conducting and coordinator of the graduate program and the University of Minnesota, Prof. Robert Reynolds from the Thornton School of Music USC and Charles Peltz director of ensembles at The New England Conservatory. Charles also guest conducted the Buffalo Symphony and worked extensively with the Buffalo Youth Orchestra.
Some really moving and powerful moments - musically, intellectually and emotionally for all involved.