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Boonville music teacher to sing with choir at Carnegie Hall

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BOONVILLE — Sarah E. Stedman has performed with local choirs at a number of different venues throughout the Black River Valley in recent years.

However, she is preparing to take a slightly larger stage in March, joining an inaugural National Sacred Honor Choir for a performance at Carnegie Hall.

“I’m really excited, and the pieces are very excellent,” said Ms. Stedman, who has taught middle school vocal music at Adirondack Central School for the past seven years.

The local teacher, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from Houghton College in 2005 and 2007, respectively, said she was invited last August with other Houghton alumni to perform at the renowned New York City music hall by her former choral conducting professor, Brandon P. Johnson.

Mr. Johnson, director of choral activities at the Allegany County Christian college, is serving as artistic director and conductor for the March 9 event.

After ensuring her availability, Ms. Stedman — a member of both the Adirondack Community Chorus and the Lowville Community Chorus who has performed with the Syracuse University Oratorio Society — accepted the distinguished invitation.

“I’m not going to turn this down,” she said.

The group will perform Mozart’s “Requiem Mass,” a piece Ms. Stedman has already performed with the Adirondack Community Chorus, as well as “Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, Opus 80,” and the world premiere performance of “Cantate Domino” composed by David H. Davies, assistant professor of composition and theory at Houghton College.

“The debut performance of the National Sacred Honor Choir brings musicians together to celebrate the joining of art music and the Christian musician,” states the Carnegie Hall website. “The choir is composed of musicians from across the United States who are serious about the amalgam of their faith and musical artistry.”

The group will be made up of singers connected not only to Houghton College but other Christian colleges throughout the country, as well, Ms. Stedman said.

“It sounds like it’s going to be pretty huge,” she said.

Ms. Stedman also is secretary of the Arts Community of Lewis County, volunteers at the Lewis County Fair and has participated in art shows with the Arts Community of Lewis County and at the Dodge-Pratt-Northam Art and Community Center in Boonville. She plans to leave for New York City on March 5.

Rehearsals are to take place from March 6 to 8, with the performance slated for 2 p.m. Sunday, March 9.

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