It's said the way to get to Carnegie Hall is to "practice, practice, practice," but for one choir from Edmonton it all came down to a much-coveted invitation.
The Edmonton Metropolitan Chorus, or EdMetro Chorus as it is also known, is bound for New York City to perform on the Carnegie Hall stage on March 7.
Artistic director and conductor David Garber was recommended for the performance by conductor Richard Sparks, who had previously worked with the group.
"To receive an invitation to be in what is basically an Edmonton production is quite an honour," Garber said.
The chorus will take part in the New York premiere of "Nou Goth Sonne Under Wode," by Canadian composer Allan Bevan. The title is in Middle English, and means 'Jesus under the wooden cross.'
A lot of choral singers underestimate their abilities. If they see the word audition they think 'Oh, I can't do that.' - Artistic Director David Garber on the Edmonton Metropolitan Chorus policy of not holding auditions
Garber called it "one of those modern gems," and said it is "immediately accessible and beloved by the audience and performers who get to perform it."
For the performance, 73 members of the chorus will be going, along with local actor Timothy J. Anderson, who will be the narrator, and a soprano who will take on the role of Mary, mother of Jesus.
No Audition, no problem
Garber credits part of the success of the chorus to its openness to new singers. The chorus, now in its 10th year, has 110 members, and not one of them auditioned to join.
"A lot of choral singers underestimate their abilities," Garber said. "If they see the word audition, they think, 'Oh, I can't do that.' "
He said by eliminating auditions, the chorus is able to invite singers with a broad range of skills.
"Because you're not auditioning doesn't mean you don't have incredible skills, musicianship, voice and other personal qualities to contribute."
"That's one of the wonderful things about Edmonton Metropolitan Chorus, is the spirit and the sense of family and support that the chorus gives each other."