Our Honors Choir recently had the opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City as part of a Christmas concert. We asked the Honors Choir “extended family” to share this amazing experience through their own eyes. Here are some responses:
“From my perspective, it was wonderful to give our students the opportunity to work with other professional directors and performers. I sat in the audience during the performance and it was a thrill to see them “jamming out” during both pieces they were involved in and those they observed from the band. There was an assignment I tasked them with during the two days of rehearsal – to meet a new friend and learn how they became involved with this performance or what God has done in their life through music. It was a joy to hear the stories they brought from new friends. I believe there is lasting impact from being part of things bigger than yourself.”
-Dr. Elizabeth Yoder, Director, Eastern Christian High School Honors Choir
“Standing behind the Gettys singing worship music is one of the coolest opportunities that we have ever had.”
“Watching the Getty’s do music for a living can really change a high school musician’s perspective on life. For me, it provides hope as to what my life will be like after I leave EC to go to music school in Nashville.”
“I don’t know how I’m not supposed to dance to all of this incredible music!”
-Luke Van Goor
“The Carnegie Hall Experience is a really great opportunity for us to be able to sing with a choir that is bigger than we are and be surrounded by a huge sound like that. It also gives us an opportunity to be on a stage and see what it’s like to be part of a professional performance.”
“I started out the month of November excited for the holidays, and wishing time would go faster – that we could get past Thanksgiving and start celebrating Christmas. Weeks later, before Advent even began, I found myself tired and discouraged. A particularly hectic and stressful period at work, difficult family situations, and the busyness of the season left me almost wishing that Christmas would just hurry up and be done with already. Of course I know the true meaning of Christmas – but that almost made me feel worse. Like there was an internal pressure to be joyful and celebrate, because I know Christmas isn’t just the packages and bows and cookies – but so much more!
I went to last night’s concert thinking “This will do it. Christmas in the city. Beautiful music, carols. I will feel the “Christmas spirit”, the warm fuzzies of the season, celebrating Jesus and his birth. And while the music was absolutely beautiful (so incredibly proud of our kids!), half way through the evening I knew there was nothing changing in my heart.
What I did not know (and I’m sure he didn’t either!) was that I had a divine appointment with John Lennox last night. No, I didn’t meet him individually. But while he was up on that stage, it was as if he was speaking directly to me. From start to finish I was hanging on his every word. A very specific reminder that Jesus Christ, the Holy Son of God came to earth. To die. For me. And because of that I can have peace and joy. That’s not a new message for me. But it touched me in a fresh way that my weary heart needed to hear and grasp. I think sometimes when we’ve walked with the Lord for a long time, we take salvation for granted. It becomes part of our lives, part of our story and we can start to forget what an awesome sacrifice was made for us. It can become a bit “ordinary”.
Last night it hit me like a ton of bricks. God is at the center of my life, He is my foundation. I do not know how I would get out of bed every day and face all life brings if I did not know Him. But I would not have this intimate relationship with Him if Christ had not come and paid for my sin. And to do that, He had to be born as a human.
I am now convinced that “In Christ Alone” should be a Christmas carol. Because it sums up Christmas perfectly. Yes, Christmas is about the birth of Jesus – but it’s about the cross, and God’s wrath being satisfied, and the power that is now poured into my life as I stand in Him.”
-Kim Veinberg, parent of Honors Choir student Anya Veinberg