By Victoria Onorato
The Post Cecillia Chorus will be performing on Dec. 10 at Carnegie Hall. This is the ensemble’s third year performing at Carnegie Hall and it will include songs in Bach’s “Magnificat” in D major. Senior Alex Martinez, a music performance major, will be performing with the ensemble for his third and final time.
Martinez aspires to write his own music, perform on Broadway, and help the world with his music and voice. He learned how to play the piano in two years of lessons, and taught himself how to play the guitar. His love for music is influenced by rock, jazz and musical theater. “Each genre pertains with everything and relates with each other,” he said.
His musical interests vary, as he prefers not to listen to country but can listen to every other genre. “I can listen to Taking Back Sunday’s song ‘My Blue Heaven’ then switch to ‘Nancy’ by Frank Sinatra. I listen to everything,” he said.
The solos at Carnegie Hall will be open to professionals in the music industry, and the professional performances held at Post will allow students to audition for solos. Solos have not been announced for Martinez to audition for, but preparation for this event at Carnegie consists of two to three hours of practice every day for each performer. Martinez has a different method after practicing with the chorus. “I take an hour off every day to lay down, relax and take a breather before getting into all of my work. The piece will suffer and so will you if you overwork yourself,” he said.
Professor Mark Shapiro’s connection with Carnegie Hall has paved the way for students to perform at the venue for three straight years, after opening with a sold out event in 2013. Martinez is not a nervous performer, even while performing in front of a large crowd at Carnegie. “I put my energy towards the excitement, especially with a big crowd,” he said.
For the next few months, Martinez is preparing a recital with songs that he’s learned. The songs will include genres like classical, jazz, and musical theater. Some songs that he’s learned, however, are not in English. “It’s a life requirement to learn songs and see why you’re singing them. What it means to you affects how you sing the notes. You need to find meaning in the songs,” he said.
At Carnegie Hall, performers are required to wear black and white while on stage. The men are wearing a full tuxedo and bowtie, while the women are wearing dresses. This year’s ensemble has a larger ratio of females to males, and has new music with lots of movement and sequencing that balance different segments of the performance. Martinez has a positive mindset going into the performance for the last time. “I want to make it the best that I can make it,” he said.
The Cecillia Chorus performance at Carnegie Hall is open to all audiences. For more information or to purchase a ticket, visit www.carnegiehall.org or call 212-247-7800.