Dr. Anna Hamre, an associate professor of music at California State University, Fresno, will conduct a 280-voice choir mostly from the San Joaquin Valley in a performance of Gabriel Faure’s “Requiem” on Sunday at New York’s storied Carnegie Hall.
“It’s the chance of a lifetime,” said Hamre of her opportunity to conduct members of the Fresno State Concert Choir and Fresno Community Chorus, both of which she directs, and the opportunity of all the singers to perform at one of the nation’s renowned concert halls.
Hamre, who joined the university faculty in 1999, said she has seen many concerts at Carnegie Hall, but jumped at the chance to conduct there when it was offered last spring.
Other singers joining the Fresno contingent (167, counting singers and traveling companions) on stage Sunday afternoon are members of the Kingsburg High School Concert Choir, Monache High School Chamber Singers from Porterville, San Marino Chamber Singers, Allan Hancock College Singers from Santa Maria, Hanford West (High School) Concert Choir and Roane State Community College Concert Choir of Harriman, Tenn.
While Hamre has worked extensively with the two Fresno choirs on the music (the Community Chorus performed the work in November), she has not worked at all with any groups outside the San Joaquin Valley. Hamre said she went to Porterville to work with Monache singers recently and has consulted by telephone with the directors of the Kingsburg and Hanford choirs.
The groups arrived in New York on Thursday and will gather for a four-hour rehearsal Friday. Another choir rehearsal will be held Saturday morning and Hamre will have a night-time rehearsal with the orchestra. A full dress rehearsal with the choir, soloists and orchestra is scheduled Sunday morning. The concert begins at 2 p.m.
The Fresno travelers will return Monday, Feb. 20.
For more information about the concert, please go to the following Web site: www.midamerica-music.com/carneqie/carneqie current.htm.