Feature

Magnum Opus

Nyack College Chorale debuts in Lincoln Center

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On April 16, 2008, Nyack College celebrated its 125th anniversary by putting on one of the biggest concerts in Nyack history. To celebrate in style, the Nyack College Chorale performed at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City’s historical Lincoln Center. It was appropriate for this concert to be held in the heart of the city, because the city is becoming the heart of Nyack College.

For the 150-member Nyack College Chorale, students came together from both New York campuses, Rockland and Manhattan, to form a powerful sound that rung throughout the building. More than 1,400 people including alumni, students, faculty, family and friends filled the seats.

In addition to celebrating the achievements of the college for the past 125 years, the concert also served as a fundraiser. The Manhattan campus is renting two buildings for classes, with a combined cost of nearly 2 million dollars annually. Within the next few years, administrators hope to buy a building that will accommodate the college’s growing needs and lessen the financial strain of leasing buldings in one of the most expensive real estate markets in the United States. Reply envelopes were included within the playbills for anyone wanting to donate to the future and growth of the Manhattan campus.

Musical styles performed at the concert included gospels, hymns, spirituals and praise songs such as “Worthy is the Lamb,” “Agnus Dei” and “Amen.” The students sang in English, Spanish and Italian. Willana Mack, a 2005 Nyack College alumna, was the guest soloist on the selection “Total Praise.” Willana graduated from the High School for the Humanities with honors and was the winner of Sony’s Bertelsmann World of Expression Composition National Award. She appeared in the 2007 Warner Brothers film August Rush and also performed at the 80th Academy Awards in February 2008 with the Impact Repertory Choir. Jose Heredia, Jhasoa Agosto and Jonathan Perez, all students from the Manhattan campus, also made up a powerful trio for the selection “Gloria” from Misa Criolla.

Nyack College President Michael Scales concluded the concert with a short tribute to the founding father of Nyack College, A. B. Simpson. “He loved the people of the city!” Scales said. “Even after moving the educational institution from New York City to Nyack, he [Simpson] traveled almost every work day, until he died in 1919, back to the city. In some ways he would be surprised at the college today; he would be surprised to know that we have well over 3,000 students and over 50 undergraduate and graduate programs on campuses in Nyack, Manhattan; Washington, D.C.; San Juan, P.R.; and Kiev, Ukraine. And over 26,000 alumni that celebrate with us tonight [all over the world].”

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