Tag Archives: Dr. Angelica Dunsavage

A national reputation: TSU Choral Group performs at Carnegie Hall

June 2nd marked Mayson Harris’ second trip to New York City. But in a twist of fate, this visit to the Big Apple held something extraordinary in store. The prospect of performing at Carnegie Hall fueled Harris, a member of the TSU Meistersingers, with ambition, and the students embarked on a mission to turn their dream into reality.

Through donation after donation, the TSU premiere choral group’s fundraising efforts totaling $20,000 were successful, leading to an unforgettable performance at Carnegie Hall—a musical ensemble of a lifetime.

“Carnegie Hall is a grand place,” said Harris, a rising senior at TSU studying music. “To actually perform there, the acoustics were amazing. I could hear all the voices blending together. I can’t wait to see what our choir does next,” the baritone singer said.

TSU Meistersingers and Dr. Angelica Dunsavage visits the Met Art Museum during their trip to New York before performing at Carnegie Hall.

Eight TSU Meistersingers traveled to NYC to premiere a new musical piece alongside students from other universities, captivating an audience of hundreds with their sound on June 5. Out of more than 80 singers from various colleges and community choruses, TSU was the only HBCU to be a part of the 30-minute performance at Carnegie Hall.

“Having more Black voices in Carnegie Hall, especially from HBCUs, will always have a big impact,” said Harris from Nashville. “If one can do it, we can take it a step further and have all HBCUs at Carnegie Hall.”

Accompanying the TSU Meistersingers during their performance was their passionate Director of Choral Activities, Dr. Angelica Dunsavage.

Dr. Dunsavage expressed that the Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY), an organization the singers collaborated with, were amazed by their performance.“They (DCINY) were really impressed by our students,” said Dunsavage, noting that they commended their preparation and professionalism and extended an invitation to return for any future opportunities.

TSU Meistersingers and Dr. Angelica Dunsavage attends Hadestown the Musical in New York .

The students showcased a musical piece titled “Where We Find Ourselves,” inspired by a series of photographs taken during the Jim Crow era in North Carolina. This piece is a Carnegie Hall premiere composed by Michael Bussewitz-Quarm. Dunsavage emphasized that exposure at this level is crucial for the TSU Meistersingers.” It means a lot to our students to start building travel up and getting more of a national reputation for the choral program.”

The performance also held great significance for TSU student Link Fisher III, who considered singing on the same prestigious stage as some of his favorite vocalists like Sarah Vaughan or Ella Fitzgerald an exceptional opportunity.

“Sharing a stage that all these greats have shared, it was a moment to thank God for allowing me to be here,” Fisher said. “All these opportunities keep presenting themselves. You take them and you learn from them.” Fisher, a senior studying performing arts and French, revealed that his post-graduation plans involve “living life to the fullest.” He plans to attend graduate school in Paris to pursue a career in conducting music and opera singing.

The enthusiasm and dedication of the TSU Meistersingers will propel them to new heights. Sharing their voices with professional musicians at Carnegie Hall is another accolade that will unlock endless opportunities.

For more information about TSU Meistersingers visit www.tnstate.edu/music/meistersingers. Check out a video of the TSU Meistersingers rehearsing for the Carnegie Hall performance with composer Michael Bussewitz-Quarms and students from other universities here.

A Dream Come True as TSU Choral Group Prepares for Performance of a Lifetime at Carnegie Hall 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – It’s a singers dream to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City in front of thousands. For the TSU Meistersingers, it was on their Christmas wish list – a once in a lifetime experience that has come to fruition sooner than expected. 

Next May, for the first time ever, 11 members of the TSU Meistersingers are set to participate in a festival performance with MidAmerican Productions at Carnegie Hall. 

The premier chamber choral ensemble is raising $20,000 to make the trip of a lifetime to perform with professional orchestras. 

Dr. Dunsavage left, and a few of TSU Meistersingers students after a performance at the McKendree United Methodist Church in downtown Nashville.

TSU senior Dominic Davidson, who is a voice major, says he looks forward to the choir raising the funds to be able to participate in a life changing experience. “I have actually always dreamed of performing at Carnegie Hall ever since I was a child,” Davidson of Hendersonville, says. “As a choir, we have always wanted this kind of opportunity. We love singing, we love music, and we love the power that singing gives us and brings to others.” The tenor singer says performing at Carnegie Hall will give him a new level of confidence and a greater appreciation for his gift of singing. 

Marla Lowery of Knoxville says she was in disbelief when they received the news about the performing. Lowery, a sophomore studying political sciences, says she has never performed in front of a crowd of thousands. “It will be great to network with other schools and to see how orchestras practice up until the actual performance day. This will be exciting,” Lowery, says. The alto singer has been hitting notes since elementary school and looks forward to showing off her vocal skills in New York. 

Rhameek Nelson, a senior music education major, says this experience will be an opportunity to better his education and bring exposure to HBCUs. “TSU has never done anything like this before,” Nelson says. “This will take our choir to the next level. The experience will show that … people who look just like me will have the same opportunity here at TSU. I chose TSU, and now they chose me to travel and perform to Carnegie Hall … this is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” says Nelson of Georgia. 

TSU Meistersingers during their last performance of the Fall semester.

Director of Choral Activities, Dr. Angelica Dunsavage, says she is just as excited as this will also be her first time performing at Carnegie Hall.  

“To be able to do a work, especially with a professional orchestra on the stage of Carnegie Hall is going to be a really amazing experience for the students,” Dunsavage says. 

“We would like the community’s help to be able to get us there.” 

So far, the choir has raised $3,500 by performing at cooperate and church events, along with small fundraisers on campus. Dunsavage says this experience will open doors to endless possibilities for the students and their careers.  

The $20,000 will cover airfare, housing and participation for the Carnegie Hall performance. The students are slated to stay in New York for the event May 10-14, 2023. 

See the TSU Meistersingers’ final performance of the semester at TSU Meistersingers – Fall 2022 (vimeo.com)

If you are interested in making a donation or would like to sponsor a student, please visit Meistersingers Fund (tnstate.edu). For more information contact Dr. Dunsavage at [email protected]