P.K. Yonge group to sing in New York
Published: Thursday, January 12, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 11, 2006 at 9:26 p.m.
A vocal ensemble from P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School will be part of a performance this spring at New York City's Carnegie Hall.
"It doesn't get much bigger than that, does it?" said the group's vocal instructor, Sherwin Mackintosh. "Carnegie Hall is the premier concert hall in the country and, really, the world. To get there as high school students is pretty amazing."
The 17-member ensemble from the University of Florida's College of Education laboratory school will perform with several other choruses from throughout North America. They will sing the lyrics to several composers' works May 9, including the world premier of Paul Basler's Missa Brevis.
UF music Professor Russell Robinson, who recommended the P.K. Yonge ensemble to the show's organizers, will direct the performance. The singers will be accompanied by the New England Symphonic Ensemble.
Mackintosh said performing with the orchestra will be an honor in itself for the students.
Candace Wicke, the conductor-in-residence for MidAmerica Productions, which organized the event, said the "quality and high level of musicianship demonstrated by the singers" earned them their spot in the show.
The honor is just the latest accolade for the ensemble, which was awarded three superiors and two excellent ratings at the Florida Vocal Association's State Festival in Tallahassee.
Since P.K. Yonge is part of UF, students attending the school often work with the university's music professors. In addition, Mackintosh, a well-respected musician himself, has made strides with the vocal group since he came on board about two years ago. Before taking the Gainesville job, the vocal director worked with the legendary Seiji Ozawa of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, led the chorus at John F. Kennedy Jr.'s funeral, and spent more than 17 years as a musical director and producer in New York.
The students will travel to New York City in early May for five days and four nights of rehearsals before the show.
The trip is $1,500 a student, so chorus members are trying to find sponsors. They also set up fund-raisers, including a breakfast Saturday at Applebee's, a Jan. 22 performance by the Guy Lombardo big band orchestra, a black-tie Valentine's Day celebration, and a sale of Domino's Pizza cards.
Tiffany Pakkala can be reached at (352) 338-3111 or email@example.com
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