Conductor Anne Klus on the “Once-in-a-lifetime” Opportunity of Performing in Carnegie Hall
Anne Klus, Director of St. Paul Academy and Summit School (SPA) Choral Activities has performed with MidAmerica in Carnegie Hall four times since the company’s founding. This reflects not only the excellence of the choirs but also Ms. Klus’ success as a teacher who loves nothing more than “to see students connect with the spirit and intricate discipline of the musical arts.”
Ms. Klus has brought both passion and talent to her leadership of the SPA Middle and Upper School choir programs since 1988; she also directs the vocal and instrumental music for the Upper School spring musicals and conducts the SPA Community Chorale, entering its 25th season. We asked Ms. Klus some questions about her extensive experience with MidAmerica Productions and performing in Carnegie Hall:
MAP: How did you hear about MidAmerica Productions?
Anne: I first heard about MidAmerica Productions when my choirs were invited to perform at Carnegie Hall back in 2005, when Lawrence Barnett from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota was conducting. Before then, I was not aware of MidAmerica. And the rest is history!!
MAP: Why do you think the MidAmerica Experience is important?
Anne: I believe the MidAmerica Experience gives singers an opportunity to perform in the most famous and historic concert hall in the world, singing magnificent choral repertoire under the baton of inspiring conductors. Connecting with MidAmerica affords that once in a lifetime opportunity and opens the doors to making that experience happen.
MAP: When were your previous performances with MidAmerica? [Dale: I changed this question from “if you have…” since we know she has. I think it looks better this way]
Anne: My choirs have performed with MidAmerica, singing at Carnegie Hall in 2005, 2009, 2013 and most recently, on February 18, 2017. My student choirs as well as my community chorale (comprising 140 singers) most recently sang under my direction at Carnegie performing Randall Thompson's "Frostiana," the Handel Coronation Anthems as well as the Beethoven Coronation Anthems. We were on stage the entire evening!
MAP: What was the main musical experience that your performers took away from their residency in NYC, which culminated in their Carnegie Hall performance?
Anne: I believe there are several musical experiences my singers have brought back to Minnesota after their residencies in NYC. It's exciting and fun to enjoy the sights and sounds of New York - see incredible Broadway shows, tour world famous museums and iconic institutions like Radio City Music Hall and the Empire State Building, skate in Central Park... but their eyes get opened and they get such a more in depth understanding of the magnitude of what they are doing when they have those mass rehearsals in preparation for performing their utmost best in one of the most grand concert halls in the world. The stakes are high. They need to rise to the occasion to the highest standards of performance. This is an experience they never forget. It is an opportunity that they may never have again.
MAP: As music director, what was the most memorable personal experience you took away after this residency?
Anne: After having completed 4 residencies so far with MidAmerica, including preparing my choirs to perform under other conductors, as well as conducting on the Carnegie stage myself, walking out on that golden stage, and stepping up to conduct on the podium where the most famous conductors in the world have directed some of the most famous musical groups in the world, is humbling and awesome.
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Over the past 34 years, MidAmerica Productions has produced over 1300 concerts in Carnegie Hall and at historic halls all over the world. To have your ensemble perform in Carnegie Hall or internationally, call us at 212-239-0205 or visit us at www.midamerica-music.com.