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MVNU students take prestigious stage

Two MVNU students, Kendra Vosler and Nick DeWalt, returned from performing at Carnegie Hall in New York City last week.

Vosler and DeWalt were nominated by Dr. Bob Tocheff of the MVNU music department to participate in the Young Adult Performance Series.

The two students joined with other 18- to 25-year-olds to sing a total of six song at Carnegie Hall.

During this time, Vosler and DeWalt spent time rehearsing with the 80-person choir, connecting with professionals in their eld, and seeing “Carmen,” an opera.

“This experience was truly inspiring,” Vosler said. “It has definitely broadened my horizons and given me a taste of the professional world and performing arts.”

DeWalt is thankful for the opportunity because he has learned new strategies he can use to help teach his students in the future.

Apart from performing in Carnegie Hall, Vosler and DeWalt were able to meet Jim Weitzer, a former cast member from “Phantom of the Opera,” and other Broadway performers and professional musicians during a discussion panel.

“They all gave us great advice for practicing and auditioning,” Vosler said.

Being able to sing at Carnegie Hall with 80 other musicians, DeWalt found himself humbled by the whole experience.

“The best part was just being with a bunch of people who had the same interests and passion about music that I did,” DeWalt said. “It was so incredible singing with artists who loved to sing, loved to perform, and loved to collaborate.”

Even though Vosler and DeWalt thought they knew their music well, they would still encourage any student who may want to participate in this program to go above and beyond. In a choir setting, it is important for all performers to know their parts.

“Make sure you take the time necessary to learn your music beforehand,” said DeWalt. “We did incredible things with all of the music, but I feel we could have taken it to an even higher level had we been more prepared as a whole.”

Vosler further encouraged students to “know your music by heart and have an open mind when you walk into rehearsal.”

Vosler and DeWalt both recommend this program to other students. Students should take advantage of any opportunity to sing with talented artists, learn from incredible conductors, and perform in prestigious locations, DeWalt said.

The Young Adult Performance Series included vocalists from around the country.

Each nominated participant was required to submit an application and an audition recording to be reviewed by the expert board of music professionals.

After being accepted into the choir the students received a song list and plans for the trip.

Vosler and DeWalt were required to memorize six songs prior to their arrival to Carnegie Hall to be prepared for the three days of rehearsals and the Sunday evening performance.

The choir was conducted by Dr. Jeffery Redding. Redding is a nationally known conductor and lecturer. His accomplishments include directing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in 2005, speaking at TEDx Talks, and directing All-state and Honors choirs in 25 states.

Vosler is a senior double major in music performance and business administration. DeWalt graduated in December with a degree in music education with a specialization in vocal performance.

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