Calling all Singers!

Join us on stage at Carnegie Hall in New York (May 30, 2022) for our performance of Debra’s oratorio “A Family Portrait.” Registration for this four-day residency is through Mid-America Productions. See the flyer below for information or check the Mid-America Productions website for details. Cost of the residency is $1,549. Dates are May 27-31. If you would like to express interest, contact Debra directly via the comments window below. If you know you would like to participate you may register and make payments here.


Carnegie Hall Residency FAQs:

Q: What is the music like?

A: That’s a little difficult to answer. Truly, there’s no other oratorio quite like it in the world, which is partly why this is such a special event. “A Family Portrait” is an hour-long masterwork (10 movements) for chorus, orchestra, hammered dulcimer, and two soloists. Texts/Lyrics for 8 of the movements come from letters authored by three people in the Houghtaling family line, the oldest of which was a soldier in the Union Army, stationed at Manassas during the Civil War. The outer two movements are settings of an excerpt from Walt Whitman’s epic poem “To Think of Time.” Although the work is an original composition, it contains tune fragments from a wide body of late 19th Century folksong and hymn repertoire, offering the musicians and the audience a glimpse into the historic sounds of the Civil War era. Follow this link to see and hear excerpts (13 mins duration) from this compelling and beautiful oratorio.


Q: What is the difference between the “Concert Only Residency Package” and the “Full Residency Package?”

A: Both packages offer the same rehearsal and performance opportunities onstage at Carnegie Hall. All singers will rehearse and perform together in NYC. With both packages, you are expected to provide your own transportation to New York as well. The difference affects your transportation and lodging once you arrive in New York. So, if you take the “Full Residency Package” ($1,549 per person), your hotel is included in the package price. Any transportation required in New York to and from rehearsals, the concert, and the post-concert dinner cruise would also be included. If you take the “Concert Only Residency Package” ($949 per person) you are responsible for securing your own lodging and transportation to and from rehearsals (only the dress rehearsal will be at Carnegie Hall – other rehearsals will likely be in a hotel ballroom or an area church), the performance, and the post-concert dinner cruise.


Details about the “Full Residency Package” can be found at this link: Full Residency Package Details

Details about the “Concert Only Residency Package” can be found at this link: Concert Only Residency Package Details


Q: What if we want to bring a non-singer/performer along?

A: Non-performers can still register for the packages described above. They will be able to attend any of the rehearsals they wish, but will not be required to attend. They will be included in the post-concert dinner cruise. They will also receive a complimentary ticket to our performance. That will be one of the best seats in the house – on the Parquet/Main level. This is a $150 value. Non-performers can register for either the “Concert Only Residency Package” or the “Full Residency Package.” Note: If you register for the “Full Residency Package” and you want to share a room with your non-performer guest, they will also have to register for the “Full Residency Package.” Registrants cannot have non-registrant room-mates.


Q: How do the hotel accommodations work?

A: All “Full Residency Package” registrants will be asked to specify a type of occupancy for your hotel stay: quad (4 people per room, 2 beds), triple (3 people per room, 2 beds), double (2 people per room, 1 or 2 beds), or single (no room-mate). Each room-mate must register separately. You can specify a room-mate when you register and deposit, but you don’t have to. You can wait to do that until later if you aren’t sure yet. Until you specify a room type, our assumption will be that you will be in a quad room. If you do not know another registrant with whom you can share a room, go ahead and specify the type of room you wish to pay for (the fewer room-mates, the more expensive the package). We will work to put room-mates together according to age group, etc. No students may room with non-students unless they are members of the same family.


Q: How do we register?

A: If you want to take the “Full Residency Package” as a singer, we would encourage you to sign up with Debra’s group as MU Alumni and Friends. This allows her to disseminate information quickly and efficiently. It will also help her track the distribution of music and personal practice materials beforehand. Here is the link to sign up as an individual singer with Debra’s ensemble:


If you want to take the “Concert Only Residency Package” you can only register as an individual singer directly through the production company at this link: Concert Only Registration Link


If you are a choir director who would like to bring your choir to join Debra’s, please let her know immediately because we need to get you signed up with your own ensemble (instead of registering your group with ours). This is the best deal for choirs because it will entitle you to free chaperone packages that you would not receive if you add your group under Manchester University’s registration. So, please contact Debra if you are interested in bringing a group of 10 or more.


Q: What is the registration deadline?

A: The hard deadline is October 15, 2021. However, we are encouraging people to sign up by August or September because it gives us better hotel options (they fill up quickly in NY, especially for holiday weekends like Memorial Day). Debra wants to get her entire group into the same hotel, and we are less likely to get split up if we get those reservations in early. We are also more likely to secure a hotel that can also serve as our rehearsal space – which would be highly convenient and save us all a lot of travel time while in New York.


Q: Can I make payments, or is everything due all at once?

A: You can make payments, absolutely. We have a suggested payment schedule for our MU alumni and friends group. You can find that schedule at our “Full Residency Package” link above. If you register separately from my group, you can also make payments, but those would be made directly to the production company.

If you have other questions, please contact Debra directly via the comments window below.

Here is the payment schedule for all new registrants who deposit on or before October 1, 2021:

Q: What is the likelihood of the concert being canceled due to COVID?

A: Highly unlikely, actually. Like most concert halls in New York City, Carnegie Hall has just released news of their policies regarding vaccinations. ALL performers and ticket holders must show proof of full vaccination or apply for a medical/religious exemption in order to participate in or attend concerts at Carnegie Hall. The good news is that this means we can rehearse and perform without masks, and it helps ensure that our concert will go forward as planned.

Here is a link to Carnegie Hall’s current vaccination policy.