February 2019
Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

Three Holy Angels Vocalists Perform at Carnegie Hall

Demarest, NJ: After working together for only four days, some of the world’s most motivated teen vocalists put together a spectacular concert that was presented at Carnegie Hall. Performers in this year’s select High School Honors Women’s Choir included Leah Sanchez of Upper Saddle River, Maria Guyre of River Vale, and Hanora Chapman of Ramsey.

Chapman, Guyre, and Sanchez are students at the Academy of the Holy Angels, and study voice with AHA Choral Director Lisa Marciano.

Chapman is now a “regular” at Carnegie Hall, having performed at the venerable venue for each of the past three years. Guyre and Sanchez were first-time invitees.

“I was absolutely thrilled to see three of my choir members up on the stage of Carnegie Hall!” Marciano said. “When the first few notes of the opening song floated up to me in the balcony, I felt so reassured that all their hard work for the last four days had certainly been worth it. The choir was spectacular and the music challenging and unforgettable. The girls were subjected to hours of intense rehearsals, and worked at an incredibly high musical level. They deserved this honor because their commitment to the choir has always been unwavering and enthusiastic.

“When I saw them before the concert, they were excited and motivated. Their faces glowed with everything we hope to see in our students. I have been blessed to work with them.”

Sanchez thanked Marciano for nominating her to the international choir. The student said she would not have gone without Marciano’s help and guidance.

“When I first arrived, it was like a dream,” Sanchez reflected. “The building itself was enough to make me so proud. I walked into Carnegie Hall and nearly cried because this was the opportunity of a lifetime. I was so grateful to be able to meet new people from all over the world. This is a moment in my life that I will never forget.”

Commenting on her experience, Guyre said, “I met people from all over the world, including Australia. I met so many new friends and had such a great time. As for singing in Carnegie Hall...what an honor! I still can't believe I got to sing in such a magnificent hall. Even though the rehearsals were very intense, they were worth it. I am so blessed I got to perform with a chorus of such a high level.”

Chapman added, “I am so honored to have performed at Carnegie Hall for the third time. I had a lot of fun working with musicians from all around the world, and spending time in New York City.

“What made this year special was our conductor, Dr. (Jessica) Nápoles,” Chapman said, explaining that the knowledgeable musician further enhanced her knowledge of choral technique. The AHA senior concluded, “I am so grateful for Mrs. Marciano and her continued support of my musical journey.”

Nápoles led the international choir in several selections. Accompanied by Travis Horton, the group sang “O Frondens Virga,” “Caritas Abundat,” “Only in Sleep,” “The Fire Dance of Luna,” “Song to the Moon,” and “Sweeping through the City.”

Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious high school serves young women from a broad spectrum of cultural and religious backgrounds. Over time, thousands of women have passed through AHA’s portals. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts, and athletics. The Academy’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.


Academy of the Holy Angels

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