By Tyler M. : 5 November 2012
The Family Singers teamed up with Hancock Central School and Union-Endicott Choir’s to perform at the world premier of The Christmas Rose at Carnegie Hall.
The play was originally written and composed by Tim Janis under the nameNight of the Shepherd’s and performed on The Family School’s very own stage in December 2011. When given the opportunity to perform in The Christmas Rose; a slight alteration of Night of The Shepherds, The Family School singers were more than eager.
Janis and Family School choir director, Paul Geer have collaborated on many projects including, Celebrate America in 2009, America Christmas Carol in 2010 and Night of the Shepherds in 2011. The connection with Janis provided the students at all three schools an amazing opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall— one of the world’s most famous venues.
The day started off with a three hour warm-up session at Cary Hall— a practice auditorium where all three schools sang together for the first time. A complete run through of the songs and individual work prepared the singers for the real deal. For many this trip marked some very special milestone- from a first choir performance to the first trip to the Big Apple, students were in awe during all parts of the day.
Following lunch at a classic BBQ joint, a full dress rehearsal gave the choir a taste of the stage life, from rushing around backstage to acting in close proximity with big name stars. A rush of emotions could be seen on all faces when, “All choir singers please report to the stage entrance,” came over the loud speaker. As the singers filed onto stage they were looking into a sea of 2,800 seats. “It was intimidating and awe inspiring to perform in such an historic concert hall,” said Noel C.
When show time rolled around, the singers were more than eager to hit the lime light. “It was interesting and exciting to follow the show from conception to the stage,” said Geer. Geer who has been with the play since early 2011 finally struck it big, bowing in front of a full house at Carnegie than taking his position on stage conducting the choir.
Jane Seymour, the Christmas Rose’s big name actor played the part of the host, but more importantly she was there to represent, the Open Heart Foundation. A portion of ticket sales and revenues are donated to the foundation which helps support various charities. The foundation honored two people with an open heart award that evening, one going to Leonard Lauder who is a co-founder of Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation and the other award went to Lisa Lori for her close work with Operation Smile and dedication to helping kids in need.