Students sing in National Concert at New York City’s Carnegie Hall

Above: (Back l-r) Ms. Mary Catherine Pietropaoli, Noah, Odunayo, Lucy, Aralyn, Charlotte, Julius, Hans, Nate and Mr. Michael Carnaroli. (Middle l-r) Maggie, Alaina, Adel and Rebecca. (Front l-r) Steven, Lorna, Piper, Joy, Jasmine and Dani. 

Eighteen students from Portsmouth Abbey School performed on the world stage at Carnegie Hall in New York City Saturday, April 6. Under the direction of Michael Carnaroli, music director, the Abbey Singers were invited to perform in the National Concert Chorus “Walk in the Light” by National Concerts, a company that arranges groups from schools across the country to sing in performances with well-known conductors and composers. Earlier this school year, the Abbey Singers performed alongside Christian recording artist Ryan Tremblay.

The 18 Sixth- and Fifth-Form students were rostered in the fall of 2023 and learned five challenging pieces of spiritual music, including “How Lovely is They Dwelling Place” by Johannes Brahms. They performed alongside Tracy Wong, composer-in-residence at Carnegie Hall, and co-conductors Marques L.A. Garrett, artistic director of the Omaha Symphonic Chorus, and Tom Trenney, assistant professor of music and conductor of choirs at Nebraska Wesleyan University. Learn more about them here

In addition to rehearsals and the Saturday evening performance, the group visited the Museum of Modern Art, saw “Chicago the Musical” on Broadway, toured the observation deck at the top of the Rockefeller Center and enjoyed the wonderful cuisine around Times Square.

“I am incredibly proud of our music department for consistently reaching for excellence through our dedication to learning and performing challenging repertoire at a high level. Our Abbey musicians have earned this memorable opportunity through their hard work and commitment,” Carnaroli said.


Rise, Shine! – Traditional Spiritual, arr. Marques L.A. Garrett and Tom Trenney

O Love – Elaine Hagenberg

How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place (from Ein deutches Requiem) – Johannes Brahms

Echo (World Premiere) – Tracy Wong

We Shall Overcome – American Freedom Song, arr. Tom Trenney