Story by Pamela Kleibrink Thompson
Nampa-based community choir Eagle Song will soon be soaring at Carnegie Hall in New York City on Sunday, November 19, 2017, thanks to an invitation from conductor and composer Mark Hayes, who asked them to perform the premiere of his complex “International Carol Suite,” a collection of traditional Christmas carols in more than 20 languages. The group is joining with other choristers, forming the Distinguished Concerts International New York City (DCINY) to perform on Sunday, November 19, 2017.
“Eagle Song received this invitation because of the quality and high level of musicianship demonstrated by the singers, as well as the exceptional recommendation given by Mark Hayes,” stated Dr. Jonathan Griffith, DCINY’s artistic director and principal conductor. “It is quite an honor just to be invited to perform in New York. These wonderful musicians not only represent a high quality of music and education, but they also become ambassadors for the entire community. This is an event of extreme pride for everybody, and deserving of the community’s recognition and support.”
West Goes East
The outstanding Idaho musicians will spend five days and four nights in New York City preparing for their concert. “The singers will spend approximately nine to 10 hours in rehearsals over the five-day residency,” noted Griffith. “Not all of the time is spent in rehearsals, since there is so much history and culture to see in New York City. However, the performance is the primary purpose for their visit to the city.”
Eagle Song was founded by Stephen Kuykendall to further learning and performing choral works in the high academic tradition, and offering opportunities to present choral works–particularly sacred works–in a variety of concert settings. Eagle Song, a group of people who love singing together, began seven years ago with a Northwest Nazarene University alumni group. Most of Eagle Song’s singers still have some affiliation with the university.
When Voices Blend
“What makes us special is the wide array of backgrounds and experience levels,” explained Aubrielle Holly, an Eagle Song member. “The thing I love the most about singing in choir is that the art form does not exist without the mix of different voices coming together to create these beautiful sounds. It is such a privilege to work with one of the most prominent choral composers of our day. We are honored by Mr. Hayes’ invitation, we are excited about our momentum and the opportunities we are being offered.”
This summer, Eagle Song will perform in Cottonwood, Idaho at the Raspberry Festival on August 6, Nampa Festival of the Arts the following weekend, and church concerts as well as events where they perform the national anthem. This fall Eagle Song will produce a Disney concert as a fundraiser for the New York trip. Most recently, they presented a Broadway revue.
Eagle Song performs frequently throughout the Treasure Valley and Nampa. For their performance schedule, please visit their Facebook page and Instagram account.
Members of the community are encouraged to give financial support in sending Eagle Song to New York by contacting Steve Kuykendall at 208.283.6729 or via email at [email protected].