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My Experience Singing With MYO At Carnegie Hall

Manal Layachi

Volume 4 Issue 1

November 6, 2023

My Experience Singing With MYO At Carnegie Hall

Image provided by Facebook

On May 7th, I performed with my MYO group, the Nassau Senior Treble Choir, at Carnegie Hall. Carnegie Hall was first created in 1891, located on the corner of 57th Street and Seventh Avenue, it is a national historic landmark.  All the MYO groups including mine got to perform on this prestigious stage. MYO stands for Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York and was created to foster a community of talented musicians from Long Island by providing them with an opportunity to perform choral and orchestral masterworks at a high level. I have been singing with MYO since 6th grade and it has been an amazing experience. My teacher this year was Mrs. O’Hanlon, a music teacher at Herricks High School, and she is an awesome conductor and mentor. Every Monday, we have rehearsal from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  


We performed four songs at the concert at Carnegie Hall: 


  1. “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by John Rosamond Johnson 


The first piece that we performed was “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” We did not sing the original version as a previous student of Mrs. O’Hanlon, James Floyd, arranged the song for us. At first, Mrs. O’Hanlon thought is was way too hard! With hard work and a lot of practice, we got the song down and even memorized it. This poem is referred to as “The Black National Anthem” and it was written by NAACP leader James Weldon Johnson in 1990. This song has beautiful harmonies and melodies. I loved it! 


  1. “J’entends Le Moulin”: Composed by Traditional French Canadian. Arranged by: Donald Patriquin. 


Our second piece was “J’entends Le Moulin” composed by the Traditional French Canadian and arranged by Donald Patriquin. This is a fun French folk song that is like a “game of rhymes”. We had originally sung this song at our last concert at Adelphi, but Mrs. O’Hanlon wanted to give us another try to make it better and try it again at Carnegie. Although this song was tricky, we had a lot of fun singing it and learning the French. 


  1. “What Happens When a Woman”: Composed by Alexandra Olsavsky 


Our final piece as a group was “What Happens When a Woman” composed by Alexandra Olsavsky.  This song is about the empowerment of woman it was very cool to sing at Carnegie. The sound resonated so beautifully when we performed, it literally gave you goosebumps. We got to do moves with this song which was fun and interactive and there were six amazing soloists. This strong and empowering piece was a great way to end the MYO year.  


  1. “Walk in Jerusalem” Arranged by Rollo A. Dilworth 


All the MYO choirs got to sing “Walk in Jerusalem”, and African American Spiritual arranged by Rollo A. Dilworth, as their final piece at Carnegie. Mr. Norris, a director of Choral Music at Glen Cove High School, conducted us. It was a fun and interactive choir church song. It was a cool experience singing with the other choirs. At the end of the concert, we got a standing ovation, and I was filled with pride and joy. 


Although this was my last MYO concert and I had mixed feelings, I cannot wait to sing at Carnegie Hall with MYO next year. 





About Carnegie Hall | Carnegie Hall 

Lift Every Voice and Sing | NAACP 

J'entends le moulin | Elektra Women's Choir 

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