College Station choir to perform at Carnegie Hall

COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) A College Station church choir is used to singing to an audience of dozens. But next year, they'll be performing to an audience of thousands.

The Friends Congregational Church choir is headed to the famed home of music, Carnegie Hall.

“There's always a saying, ‘How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice,’” said Chris Hoffman, director of music ministries at Friends Congregational.

“Practice is the key to that,” echoed baritone Brian Blake, “and then we'll come together with the other voices.”

In February 2020, the Friends church choir will join a chorus of 250 singers from across the country at Carnegie Hall.

“That was wonderfully shocking,” said Hoffman with a laugh. “Thinking, is this legitimate? What's the catch?”

Hoffman has been directing the Friends choir for 13 years.

“It never ever really feels like a job; we get to come and share in fellowship,” Hoffman said. “Share in our joys and in our sorrows; worship together and make music together.”

For Christine Gravelle, the choir helped connect her to the congregation.

“Singing is this really powerful personal experience all at the same time,” said Gravelle.

For Blake, it's a gift he gives himself—and others.

“It’s a ministry that I can go to when I feel like I need something in my life and want to give back to the congregation,” said Blake.

For every member, it's a way of worship. On Sundays at Friends...and next year, in one of the most historic venues on Earth.

“You think the top dogs are the people that get to perform on this stage,” said Hoffman. “Not a humble choir of 25 from College Station, Texas.”

At Carnegie Hall, the Friends choir will perform John Rutter's famous "Requiem."

The choir will be performing a benefit concert to help fund their trip on Thursday, May 2, at the Friends Congregational Church on 2200 Southwood Drive in College Station at 7:30 p.m.