For more than a century, Carnegie Hall, more than any other concert venue in America, has signaled that an artist has arrived.
That's why the news about the Annapolis Chorale's invitation to perform at Carnegie next year is worth celebrating.
"Carnegie Hall, when you're playing in form, makes a performance larger than life. It's an enormously powerful hall and it does give even average performers a glamour and power they wouldn't have in other halls," violinist Isaac Stern says of the famous auditorium.
There is nothing average about the Annapolis Chorale. Its high degree of versatility and professionalism intrigued a talent scout after he heard a recording of the chorale's sizzling performance of Verdi's Requiem given at Maryland Hall in Annapolis last spring.
The result was the Carnegie Hall booking. "This is one neat invitation to snag. This is just dynamite," conductor J. Ernest Green said of the forthcoming Manhattan engagement.
Two dates are under consideration for the chorale's Carnegie appearance. Depending on the final choice, the chorale would perform one of the great requiems, or works by Johann Sebastian Bach and John Rutter, the contemporary British composer.
We salute both the chorale and its conductor. At 33, Mr. Green is a musical talent attracting notice beyond this region. Under his baton, the Annapolis Chorale has grown from a smallish vocal ensemble into a powerful and varied organization that consists of the full chorus, a chamber chorus, an orchestra and youth chorus. This enables the chorale to work with an ever-widening repertoire and to train singers throughout their careers.
The chorale is not the only iron Mr. Green has in the fire, however. "Is it my imagination, or have the arts and leisure pages of these parts become the exclusive preserve of Ernest Green?" mused music critic Phil Greenfield a couple of months ago, referring to the conductor's many ties to the Chesapeake region's musical organizations.
For his part, Mr. Green says, "I'm always looking to expand my musical horizons because I don't want to get stuck in any single musical niche."
With the Carnegie invitation, the Annapolis Chorale has reason to work even harder than before. And the whole community has reason to be more supportive than ever.