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Watertown Teen Sings at Carnegie Hall with the BC High Choir

Junior Zachary Pilla practiced three to four mornings a week to prepare for the concert in New York City.

The following release was sent out by Boston College High School:

Zachary Pilla of Watertown, a junior at Boson College High School, along with 84 other members of The BC High Concert Choir, recently performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

In the weeks leading up to the Carnegie Hall performance, Zachary and his fellow-singers were asked to come to school at 7 a.m. three to four times per week to rehearse, even during school vacation week in February.

The repertoire was carefully considered for the world-renowned venue by Dr. Marina Rozenberg, Choir Director at BC High. The choir students mastered selections in Latin, Czech, Russian and English as the repertoire included classical pieces composed by Puccini, Prokofiev and Dvorak. The program also contained a traditional spiritual, a sea chanty, a Russian folk song and would conclude with a powerful, emotion-filled arrangement of "Battle Hymn of the Republic."

After arriving in New York City, there were more rehearsals before the Monday night performance at Carnegie Hall. Just prior to the performance the students held an inspirational pre-concert gathering where Mr. Michael Brennan, BC High’s Vice Principal of Student Affairs and Mr. Gene Holmes, an English teacher at BC High, himself a valuable member of the Concert Choir shared thoughts with the boys that allowed the group to settle and focus on what they were about to accomplish.

All were ready to give the performance of a lifetime and give they did. By all accounts, the concert could not have gone any better. It was a complete success on so many levels. The concert hall audience rewarded the concert choir with thunderous applause and a standing ovation. Carnegie Hall music professionals, used to hearing many performances in the venue, listened intently just offstage, congratulated these students and described the performance as “outstanding”. Smiling from ear-to-ear, with a feeling of euphoria, the group exited the stage knowing they had been changed by this experience.

Dr. Rozenberg, commenting on their success, said “I am honored to have outstanding young gentlemen and I feel honored to work with them. I am thankful to have parents who support them so much and to be part of our team. We are all fortunate to have the support of the BC High administration, faculty and staff for their help in making this dream come true.”

In addition to Boston area concerts, previous performance locations of the choir under Dr. Rozenberg’s direction have included The White House, the National Cathedral in Washington D.C., with The University of San Francisco on their beautiful campus last year, and at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, VT. The group has traveled internationally to sing in The Vatican, The Czech Republic, Ireland and Russia. Dr. Rozenberg is currently planning a return trip to Russia next year that will include concerts in Moscow, Kazan and St. Petersburg.

Selected members of The Concert Choir spent a recent Saturday morning in a recording session of the repertoire that was performed at Carnegie Hall, which should be available for sale shortly. This CD will be dedicated to Boston College High School as they begin a to celebrating its 150th anniversary.

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