The Red Bank Catholic Choir returned to Carnegie Hall on Monday, November 24th, to have the honor to perform as part of the "American Festival Choir," a group of 17 renowned choirs from throughout the country. The RBC choir, the only high school choir invited to participate, is comprised of 50 students of all grade levels and is directed by RBC Music Director Shawn Mack, a 2005 RBC graduate.
In addition to selected Christmas carols, they performed the world premiere of "The Heart of Christmas," a piece composed specifically for Christmas in New York at Carnegie Hall by internationally known composers Phil Barfoot and Rebecca J. Peck. Mr. Barfoot visited Red Bank Catholic prior to the performance to rehearse. He enjoyed spending the time with the students and noted "their commitment to excellence made them a very important part of the American Festival Choir.""The Heart of Christmas" was part of a 26 song performance, featuring solo artists Jeff Bennett and Marcia Ware. Mr. Mack conducted one of the songs that evening, and has previously performed at Carnegie Hall himself. He understands the students' excitement and notes, "It was an amazing opportunity for our students. To perform on that stage where so many legendary performers have appeared is truly awe-inspiring."