|
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
  • Smyrna student sings at New York's Carnegie Hall

  • To sing at Carnegie Hall in New York City is just a dream for many performers, but for one senior at Smyrna High School, that dream recently came true.


    • email print
  • To sing at Carnegie Hall in New York City is just a dream for many performers, but for one senior at Smyrna High School, that dream recently came true.
    Paul Johnston Jr. is the youngest member of the Chorus of the Brandywine in Wilmington where he sings lead. The group performs barbershop arrangements of popular tunes.
    As a young barbershopper, Johnston was selected to participate in the “No Borders Youth Chorus Concert” at Carnegie Hall on Dec. 26.
    The planning for this production began in August when the Alexandria Harmonizers Chorus in Virginia was asked to create a chorus of young men to sing at Carnegie Hall. The call for singers went out across the country and Canada for boys and men between the ages of 13 and 30. Johnston was one of 160 singers selected for the honor chorus. There were representatives from 64 barbershop choruses and 14 youth choruses from 30 states and Canadian provinces.
    Participants were given the music and choreography in October. They had to practice on their own for the next three months since there was no possibility for the group to meet prior to the day of the performance.
    On Christmas Day, Johnston and his family traveled to the Hilton Hotel in Elizabeth, N.J., where the chorus members were gathering from across the map.
    Early the next morning, everyone boarded buses to New York City. Upon arrival, the group began to practice their music and moves. It was their first time singing together.
    By that evening, the 153 singers who made the journey became a polished chorus ready to perform for the sold-out house. It was only the second time in the venue’s 120-year history that a non-profit group sold out Carnegie Hall. The proceeds from the show went to aid the tsunami victims in Japan. It was such a successful event, the group has been asked to return next year.
    Johnston’s interest in barbershop music began as a young boy when he attended barbershop chorus shows in which his grandfather sang bass. Now a senior at Smyrna High, Johnston plans to attend Tusculum College in Greenville, Tenn., to major in museum studies.
     

        calendar