Connor Frederick grew up in Barbourville listening to classic rock on the way to elementary school. On Monday, June 10, the Knox County native will be performing at Carnegie Hall with Western Kentucky University’s Southern Kentucky Choral Society.
The legendary music hall first opened its doors in 1891 and is a famous historical landmark in New York City that is synonymous with elite musicianship around the world.
“I am more excited than nervous,” Frederick said. “In choir, we’re all in it together. There are a lot of people to lean on.”
Frederick is a senior at WKU and described his two and half years with the choir as “a place of peace.”
“As a college student, life gets thrown at you pretty quick,” he said. “Those two hours of choir practice on Monday nights takes the mind somewhere else.”
Frederick said he was inspired to start singing in the choir at age 10 by Steve Chafin, the Music Director at East Barbourville Baptist and Barbourville Independent.
“Music has the power to move people in a different way,” Frederick added, “Steve gave me the motivation to get more involved with music, always pushing me to do my best.”
Frederick is studying marketing at WKU but said that everyone is welcomed and encouraged to audition for the choir by Dr. Paul Hondorp, the Director of Choral Activities at WKU, regardless of their major field of study.
“Since the day I walked in, Dr. Hondorp has been supportive of me not being a music major,” Frederick said.
Hondorp is making his Carnegie Hall debut, leading the choir in the first three movements of Dona Nobis Pacem by British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams.
Frederick said he is a bass, the lowest male singing voice and called his upcoming performance in New York “an intense piece with 68 pages of music.”
The Southern Kentucky Choral Society will sing alongside members of the Canton Symphony Chorus from Canton, Ohio and the Bangor Area High School Choir from Bangor, Pennsylvania.