On Nov. 13, David Belles, associate professor of music, made his conducting debut at Carnegie Hall as part of the Mid-America Production Concert Series. Belles' role as conductor was the culmination of a five-day Carnegie Hall residency that he was awarded in recognition of his national reputation in the field of choral music and the musicianship and artistry he brings to the stage.
The residency included rehearsals, musicianship building, creative expression and cultural learning opportunities in New York City. "This was a wonderful opportunity for students, me and especially the University, to have a headliner presence at this world-renowned concert hall," he explained. "It is an honor to have my work as a conductor and educator recognized by this invitation."
Eastern's Concert Chorale joined Belles on stage during the Nov. 13 concert. In addition to singing with 120 other participating singers, the Chorale also performed a 25-minute solo featuring F.J. Haydn's "Te Deum" and Howard Hanson's "Song of Democracy." Combining with the other singers, they performed Robert Ray's "Gospel Mass."
"What sets this far and above those other experiences is that the 50 singers from Eastern
were featured in a solo portion of the concert, separate from the other 120 singers participating in the festival," said Belles.
The Chorale previously performed at Carnegie Hall in 2008 when they sang Mozart's "Requiem," and in 2005 when they appeared with groups from four other universities to perform Mozart's "Coronation Mass."
The Chorale revisited Haydn's "Te Deum" and also sang Mozart's "Coronation Mass" at a special concert at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Norwich on Nov. 22. They were joined by the Norwich Diocesan Choir and the Concert Choir of Northeastern Connecticut.