Playing Carnegie Hall

A couple of weeks ago our church office received an email from an event coordinator who works for Carnegie Hall. She had been searching out bell choirs online, found ours, and asked if we would be interested in playing at The Great Christmas Ring  next year.  We would perform with about 250 other ringers in early December at Carnegie Hall after several days of rehearsals with an eminent bell choir conductor and composer.  They will provide the bells and equipment, and we just pay for everything else.

Six of us have expressed interest, and will submit our applications this week.  Participation is on a first come-first serve basis, so we hope we get in.  I think it will be pretty exciting.  It will not be the first time I played Carnegie Hall, however.

When I was 18 I auditioned for and played in a concert band comprised of high school students from all over the US. We played a concert in Carnegie Hall prior to a European tour.  It was quite an experience.  I didn’t really appreciate my surrounding s when I was 18, so if we get to play bells in New York next December I will pay much closer attention.

If you could perform anything, anywhere, even in the past, where would you perform and with whom would you perform? What famous concerts do you wish you could have attended? 

31 thoughts on “Playing Carnegie Hall”

  1. Well, since you couldn’t pay me enough to perform anything, anywhere, I’ll answer the last question. I would have liked to go to Pete Seeger’s Carnegie Hall concert on June 8, 1963.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I’m ill at ease in crowds, so I’d never attend a large concert. I experienced less than a dozen concerts at the old Guthrie, liking a few and hating some. Worst was Miles Davis; best was the Roches.

    My peak classical music experience was hearing the Budapest String Quartet perform Beethoven’s sublime A minor quartet in a college chapel.

    Live music is wonderful when the venue is intimate. I adored going to The Scholar coffeehouse (audience size about 20 souls) to be overwhelmed by Leo Kottke’s 12-string guitar. Best of all was the night a storm took out electricity on the West Bank. Leo sat cross-legged on the stage next to a hissing railroad lantern and played his heart out for a very lucky (but small) audience.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. i was there with you at the roaches and the miles davis concerts at the guthrie, loved them both. were you there when miles played with chick corea or the band with the 7 ft tall funk motown bass player?

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    2. My former DIL was one of Minnesota’s best actresses from everything from playing Jane Eyer at the Guthrie to small theaters where she was on Cat on a Hot Tin Roof to Miracle Worker to Streetcar called Desire. Small theaters of only 120 seats made it feel like I was almost on the stage.

      Since their divorce (she had an affair with a lead actor) 3 years ago, I haven’t been to another play. It’s a loss.

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  3. I’d like to go back to our younger days and sing harmony with Joni Mitchell. Not be part of her back up group, as long as we’re doing fantasy… just her and me. 🙂

    I have been privileged to be in some amazing choral events – Beethoven’s 9th led by Robert Fulghum (who had never before conducted anything) for one. Would love to sing again something moving, with a large group like that.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. robert fulghum did an interesting story on that performance.
      he was told that was one of the toughest pieces to conduct and asked how he remembered when the different parts of the orchestra were supposed to be cued as to when to come in… he said they all look at you and you can see they are supposed to be coming up next.

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  4. I wish I could have heard Eva Cassidy sing live just once. Preferably at the tapings of her “Live at Blues Alley” CD.

    My fantasy is to conduct the Minnesota Orchestra in Beethoven’s Fifth. Orchestra Hall is fine, but if they want to drag me to Carnegie Hall to perform, I’m down with that. I’ve never been to NYC so that would be a treat, I guess.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I was fortunate enough to see Steve Goodman three time. Twice solo and once with John Prine. Goodman was such an enthusiastic performer. The last time I saw him, the writing was on the wall, he wasn’t going to last much longer, and yet he gave it his all. Nine months later he was gone.

      I have never seen Joni Mitchell, but sure wish I had. Eva Cassidy unfortunately was long gone before most of us had even heard of her. What a pity, it would have been great to hear her in a intimate setting.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. I’m assuming this question is directed to Linda, but I saw him at the Guthrie, the State Theater and at the Rarig Center at the U of M.

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        2. I saw him at the Guthrie and O’Shaughnessy, and at KTCA when they were taping a public TV special. I think I may have seen him one other time as well, but can’t remember where.

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  5. OT: My daughter is reading Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming. Before getting her copy my daughter feared it would be bland because the author would, for understandable reasons, want to avoid controversy. Well, that isn’t the case. The voice of Becoming is personal, smart, unpredictable and highly entertaining. I hope to read her copy when she’s done.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’ve just read Lisa Brennan-Jobs’ memoir. It’s an exquisitely crafted book, a pleasure to read, and is really thought provoking. You’ll never think of Steve Jobs in the way you did before – if indeed you thought about him before. He was a complicated man, no doubt about it, but perhaps because my own difficult childhood (sans the rich and famoous father), I can relate to much of what she writes. I’d re commend it, and I own it, so if you’re interested in reading it, you can borrow mine if you’d like.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is always complicated when a person is as difficult as Jobs was, and then you find out they had been abused in some way.

        I just finished an excellent memoir that is the opposite of that. Peter Coyote, the actor and voice-over narrator, was in college with me. He has written two memoirs, both exceptionally intelligent and interesting. The second memoir, which is the one I just finished, is about his turn to Buddhist thinking. Peter’s basic story is something like “I’ve been an awful jerk much of my life, but I’m working hard to get beyond all that.”

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        1. Don’t know enough of about Steve Jobs to know that he had been abused somehow. So I’m not sure how to interpret your statement that you “just finished an excellent memoir that is the opposite of that.”

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  6. Hi–
    Just got through our Holiday concerts at the college. I actually enjoyed them this year! A new director is doing wonderful things with the music department.
    I have not had to spend the week being grumpy and hating people. I did not have to pout in my office each night. I went home and had a drink because I ENJOYED it and not because I was angry and bitter and needed a damn drink! I told him he has changed my life.
    Plus, I rented some fun lights and combined with my fancy new lighting board I had some fun and nice lighting looks onstage.

    Janis would have been awesome to see! Steve Goodman too. We have seen John Prine.
    I joked that I’m hoping if /when I get Alzheimers I’ll be able to re-live Queen, Genesis, and The Who concerts.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I attended a concert at the Guthrie where the first act was Linda Ronstadt (I think) and the second was Jackson Browne.

    The most powerful and moving concert I remember was when Joan Armatrading performed in the early 1990s. Can’t remember the venue.

    Liked by 1 person

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