Richmond choir to take stage in New York with 500 musicians

An invitation to sing on a grand stage with 500 singers was not something this Richmond choir was expecting to get in their inbox.

Graeme Stager, choir director of Richmond Presbyterian Church, received an email on Jan. 23 inviting the chorus to sing and perform on stage with other singers from around the world on Dec. 1 in New York.

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Stager was suspicious of the email at first, unsure whether or not it was fake.

But it turned out to be a valid invitation from the Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) – the concert producer.

“When I found out they were legitimate and (it) was a real offer for us to (go) and sing, at that point it was like ‘Wow!’” said Stager.

Last year, the choir performed Handel’s Messiah during a Christmas concert and had it recorded by an audience member. The video was later posted on YouTube where it was found by DCINY.

“We are a volunteer choir and it’s nice to have recognition,” Stager said, adding that the choir members work hard week after week and that “it’s nice to have that affirmed.”

Only four out of the 12 choral singers, including Stager, will be travelling to New York.

Stager said that not everyone is able to make the trip because it’s quite costly and is a large time commitment.

“It’s just not practical for everyone to go.”

Every year, the DCINY holds an annual Christmas concert titled “Messiah Refreshed” at Carnegie Hall, which features several choirs and singers from all over the world to perform together.

“It’s a big honour and a big thrill; it’ll be an exciting and wonderful experience.”

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