By Lauren Cashman
High School’s choral program is widely known for its student participation in music festivals at several levels. From the Borough Honor Choir to All-National Level, Homer High School students have always been a heavy portion of the groups and this February, two of Homer High School’s students will be attending the next level in choral festivals for the first time in the school’s history.
Jacob Mayforth and Mariah Stuart, both Juniors at Homer High School, will travel to Carnegie Hall in New York City to perform at an International Honor Music Festival. Both of these choir students attended the All- National Choir in June and soon after received letters in the mail inviting them to audition for this choir. While the four other All-National participants also received audition invitations, only Jacob and Mariah showed serious interest.
Both Jacob and Mariah’s parents encouraged them to audition, as opportunities to perform in the prestigious Carnegie Hall are few and far between. Jacob said that while discussing the possibility of auditioning with his mother she believed that “…under no uncertain circumstanced would he NOT audition.”
Both have relatives who live on the East Coast and while Stuart will travel with her family and spending some time with them, Mayforth said that “It’s [his] first time traveling alone.” However, his sister, who attends college on the East Coast, will watch him perform.
While both students have auditioned and been excepted into numerous choirs, they claim that the audition process was a vastly different experience.
“It was harder, because instead of scales and exercises you had to submit an aria (an art song),” said Mariah, who sang an English piece, “Into the Night” by Clara Edwards. Jacob sang a German song, “Der Leiermann,” by Franz Shubert. Students also needed to submit a letter of recommendation by a music teacher and a resume with their audition. However, since they both received letters of invitation they did not need to acquire the letter of recommendation.
The trip itself will not only include the festival and seminars for prospective choral students entering college, but they will also get a boat tour of Manhattan and will be attending a Broadway show.
Between this newest adventure, a musical in the spring, swing choir music, and solo and ensemble Jacob and Mariah seem to have their hands full.