The Liturgy Arts Group of Boston College (LAG), alongside its director, Meyer Chambers, will perform at the Voices in the Hall concert at Carnegie Hall on Feb. 19. The group will perform 17 songs, including the world premiere of “When I Am Still.”
“There’s going to be over 200 voices singing, and it’s going to be an awesome experience,” Chambers said.
The concert aims to deliver a message of love, forgiveness, and acceptance, according to its website. Delia Delorie, vice president of LAG and LSEHD ’23, said the group is honored to perform alongside Chambers, who will direct two of LAG’s pieces.
According to Chambers, ValLimar Jansen—one of the concert’s headliners—originally contacted him via a Facebook message asking him to direct a piece for the concert by himself. Chambers, who has served as the director of LAG for 20 years, declined the offer at first because the concert overlapped with a trip to Chicago, Ill. LAG was planning to take the same weekend.
Jansen said the concert’s organizers were Adamant on Chambers directing the choir, so as a compromise, Chambers asked if LAG could perform with him at Voices. Chambers said the idea was met with enthusiasm by both LAG and Voices.
“Our director pulled us aside after rehearsal last semester and told us about this opportunity that was happening during our scheduled spring trip, and we were all just really shocked—me especially,” Delorie said.
LAG will perform 16 songs as a part of a larger 200-plus person choir and one a Capella piece, “When I Am Still,” by itself. “When I Am Still” was written by Jansen and arranged by William Adams specifically for the Carnegie Hall concert. In addition to directing “When I Am Still,” Chambers will direct “All of Me: Ode to Sr. Thea,” written by M. Roger Holland II.
While LAG is comprised of about 60 members, only half will perform at the concert, according to Delorie. The group began rehearsing for the concert once a week for 75 minutes in December, according to Chambers. It has since increased its rehearsals to be two hours long, with two rehearsals remaining ahead of the performance.
Sarah Ryan, LAG president and LSEHD ’23, said the group typically rehearses five songs a week, so the shift to rehearsing 17 songs was a big undertaking.
“They’re going to be working their little cans off trying to get this music learned,” Chambers said. “But, you know, they’re quite talented and dedicated, and I believe in them and I think they’re going to be fine.”
LAG has been fundraising to pay the fees associated with Performing at Carnegie Hall by working concessions for BC hockey and basketball games, according to Ryan.
“I think people are really excited about the concert,” she said. “So there’s a lot of motivation to get things done.”
Delorie and Chambers both said the concert is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and they feel privileged to be given the opportunity.
“It’s something that I’ve never thought would ever happen in my life,” Chambers said. “But I’m very honored to be able to do that to be a part of it.”