By: Trevor Webb
From March 3 to March 7, the Louisville Male High School Band took a trip up to New York City to embark on a once in a lifetime experience. “We have been practicing by reviewing new songs before December, then class rehearsal and some after school since January,” says Luke Anderson (12). Destiny Riley (11) added, “the LMHS Band ended up getting invited to play into Carnegie Hall due to the fact we sent in a recording, and they loved our recording so
much, they invited us to perform. We were the only band at Carnegie Hall, we felt so honored. We have been preparing for Carnegie Hall for over a year, and it has been difficult preparing. Our band assistant, Christine Wheatley, had to book our rooms, make seating charts, bus arrangements, and many other things to make sure the trip even happened.”
This trip was successfully put together, though, and it was an opportunity for the LMHS Band to grow even closer and develop themselves as musicians. Emily Laninga (12) mentions, “this trip pulled us together as a program. Marching band did the same, but after the marching season ended it faded away. But after this trip, I hope this feeling stays forever and continues after we seniors leave. This experience is something that everyone who performed will live with forever; I know it will work for me. Not just because I’m continuing with music, but because this isn’t something that a normal 17-year-old gets to do in their high school career. I’m just blown away by the whole thing.”
As musicians, the band performed to their best ability after months of practicing their art form. Larisa Matanovic (9) states, “The performance went great for us. It felt just astounding being on the stage since very few teens ever get to perform in Carnegie.” Bailey Hatzell (12) mentioned her love for being able to perform also, “Performing at one of the greatest concert halls in the world has been a lifetime dream of mine, I could practically see myself up on the stage performing, but never at 18. I look up to Leonard Bernstein, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, and they all have performed at Carnegie. To perform on the very same stage that my idols have, was incredible, breathtaking. Everything sounded so pure and just reasoned in the hall. After the concert when I was finally able to put together what happened, everyone was in tears because of how awesome we played. Our hard work paid off. The feeling I got was one I will always remember, I perform not to just to give people a break from stresses of life and to feel something, but also for myself. When we were performing, everything in the world felt okay again, and that was the best feeling.” says Hatzell.
The LMHS Band was also able to participate in some other fun events, such as going to Top Of The Rock and the 9/11 Memorial. Lily Paulin (12) says, “Besides playing at Carnegie, [her favorite part] will have to be going to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I was able to learn about the history of Ellis Island, and I found my family names in the book that documented everyone who came through. It was a beautiful, unforgettable moment.”
Overall, the trip made a positive impact on the band, while encouraging them for the future. Anderson (12) adds, “We pushed a reminder of the national awareness of our program and showed how much dedication and passion and sacrifice it takes to achieve true greatness.”
Laninga (12) concluded by stating that the trip to New York City “has deepened our passion for music. We had all worked so hard to pull emotion out of our pieces and find the meaning of the pieces. As for the impact, it hit us all, and we will be known as the band that played in Carnegie Hall. Before we left, Mr. Cooksey said, “Music is the most powerful drug of all- and it’s legal. In that case, I think we are all high all the time, but especially on that stage.”
Check out a video of the band’s trip to New York made by band member, Ryan Ackermann.