LAKEWOOD, Colo., December 15 — One of the world’s most renowned concert performance venues, Carnegie Hall, will host Steven Taylor, Colorado Christian University’s Dean of the School of Music for a special performance entitled, Reflections of Peace. The concert, presented by the Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International New York (DCINY), will be on Monday, January 16, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. in the Stern Auditorium, Perelman Stage in New York City.
Steven Taylor is known throughout the Rocky Mountain region for his expressive baritone voice. This performance will be Taylor’s second time performing at Carnegie Hall; he first performed as a guest soloist at Carnegie in April of 2015.
At that time, Steven was invited to perform at Carnegie when his friend and colleague, Dr. Catherine Sailer, the director of Chorale Studies at the University of Denver, introduced his work to the DCINY artistic review committee. After submitting official recordings that were vetted by the committee, Taylor received an official invitation to sing at Carnegie.
One reason for Carnegie Hall’s prestigious reputation as a music venue, is that Andrew Carnegie ensured that the hall itself was built to be as pleasing to the ear as it is to the eye. As Taylor explained, “The auditorium there makes it so easy for me to sing. The room’s acoustics are designed so that the room gives everything back to you — which is an incredible experience for any musical artist.”
He continued, “The first time I performed there I noticed how confident I felt singing both loudly and softly, I was able to fill the space either way. I’m grateful for the chance to sing there again and am looking forward to that feeling of awe when I get to be in that space.”
Carnegie Hall has a rich cultural history of hosting prominent political, figures, authors, and intellectuals, as well as world-class artists. “When I first walked onto the stage at Carnegie, I was awestruck,” said Taylor. “Walking along the halls you see posters of incredible performers who have been there before. This is a place where, for years, people have come to see the best of the best. In a place like that, it’s impossible to not be inspired.”
Taylor, along with 11 students and one alumnus from Colorado Christian University, will walk in the footsteps of Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, Booker T. Washington, and Winston Churchill when they perform at Carnegie Hall this January. They will perform as part of a 200-voice choir, comprised of groups from all over the world; this includes China, Germany, and even students from Eaton High School in Colorado. They will be performing Missa in Angustiis — translated as Mass for Troubled Times and also known as Lord Nelson Mass — which is widely known as composer Joseph Haydn’s greatest single composition.
“The Lord Nelson Mass is one of fourteen masses written by Hadyn, and its playtime runs for about 40 minutes,” explained Taylor. “The piece follows the outline of a Catholic mass, with six movements that work together to proclaim the various attributes of God. The mass acquired the nickname Lord Nelson Mass when British Admiral Horatio Nelson defeated Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of the Nile in 1798. The mass is complex, and was composed in Latin in the bold musical key of D minor.”
With DCINY, all soloists are required to be memorized. “DCINY’s vision is to change lives through the power of performance,” shared Taylor. “By having soloists memorize their parts, they believe it helps the performers to better connect with the audience. DCINY’s goal is to have performances that engage the audience on a deeper level.”
Taylor takes measures to ensure that he is in peak condition to perform before any of his concerts. “I have about four more weeks until this performance, so I’ll be dedicating a significant amount of my time to practice and preparation. I’ll listen to the piece over and over so that I can anticipate the music.” He continued, “Since it is a multi-movement work, in Latin, I want to be able to know exactly what comes next. I’ll even practice in my office right here at CCU.”
Before radio and television, Carnegie Hall gave a prominent public forum to anyone with a cause. According to Taylor, for this concert, the cause is Christ. “Anytime I can proclaim truth through my singing, I see it as my responsibility to sing with excellence. I can’t just be singing the words; the music itself has to be different coming from me as a believer. Before every performance I pray that people are drawn to the Lord through my singing, because He is what makes it beautiful.”
“Dr. Sailer, who is conducting this performance, is also a believer,” added Taylor. “It matters to her that the truth of God comes through our music, so I have high expectations that this performance can be a moment that God uses for His glory.”
For more information on the performance, please visit dciny.org.