Hudson -- Seventy-eight Hudson residents and employees will take part in the trip of a lifetime -- performing as part of an elaborate chorus and orchestra in Carnegie Hall in New York City on May 26.
The group, called the Hudson Festival Choir, will perform Gabriel Faur's Requiem in D minor.
An audition for all Hudson residents plus those who work in the city will take place Oct. 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Hudson High School, room D100 [the choir room]. High school juniors and seniors are eligible.
The chorus will include 15 sopranos, 17 altos, 15 tenors and 18 basses plus eight strings, two french horns and one harp along with the conductor and organist.
To audition, email your name, voice/instrumental part, preferred audition time (five-minute increments beginning at 9 a.m.) and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org. Everyone will be contacted to confirm their audition times. No preparation is necessary.
The Hudson Festival Choir will be conducted by Dr. Thomas M. Scott, director of music ministries at First Congregational Church in Hudson. He was invited to conduct by Distinguished Concerts International New York, after some of the world's top musicians were familiar with his work and recommended him.
Scott, who stressed that auditions for the concert are not just for those in his church, was intrigued by the idea of traveling to the famed concert hall.
"I thought, 'Wouldn't it be great if we could have auditions for the entire city?'" he said. "To sing at Carnegie Hall is a once-in-a-lifetime event. This is really a unique opportunity. Carnegie Hall has a certain mystique about it. It is a mecca for musicians. People all over the world know where Carnegie Hall is."
The cost to participate for each person is $740. In addition, donations are necessary. The funding got started with an anonymous $10,000 donation through the Hudson Community Foundation. Scott said about $20,000 more is needed and will be provided by grants and donations through the Hudson Community Foundation that will pay for transportation (two motor coaches) and lodging.
Tax deductible donations should be made out to Hudson Community Foundation and should be indicated for the Carnegie Hall performance.
Amy Jordan of the Hudson Community Foundation said the HCF is "pleased to be the fiscal sponsor for the newly formed Carnegie Hall Performance Committee. The new fund, Carnegie Hall Performance, has been established at HCF in support of this community wide initiative and the potential to enhance community spirit and build civic pride."
Organist Charlotte Plank will play at the audition and rehearsals in addition to the performance.
"This is really exciting," she said. "It'll be really fun."
Plank described the Faur Requiem as "a wonderful piece of music."
"It is one of Faur's best known works," she said. "It's dramatic. It's an important work. It's quite beautiful and timeless, even though it's not modern music. It's wonderful to see it performed."
Jacob Moore, Hudson High School director of choirs, said when Scott came to him with the idea, he "knew it was something special."
"To have the opportunity for the entire community to come together and share in one of the most personal forms of communication -- singing -- is a real treat," Moore said. "Hudson should be really excited about the chance to share our talents with one another and with the world at Carnegie Hall."
The chorus and orchestra will rehearse starting April 10 and the following Mondays through May 22 from 7 to 9 p.m.
On May 19 at 8 p.m., the Hudson Festival Choir will perform the Faur Requiem at Hudson High School. Singers and instrumentalists from the high school will also perform, and Mayor David Basil will speak. It will be a chance for people in the city to see the performance in person.
The Hudson Festival Choir members will stay in New York City for three days and two nights at a hotel in Central Park near Carnegie Hall. There will be a gala party after the concert.