Cape Town’s Youth Choir plans to conquer New York.
About 15 years ago, when he was being interviewed for the position of conductor for the illustrious Cape Town Youth Choir, Leon Starker was asked by the panel to define success. This was shortly after the choir had won top honours at the Llangollen International Music Eisteddfod in Wales. “I told them that, for me, real success would be to sing in Carnegie Hall,” says Starker.
He got the job and, in 2008, the choir did indeed sing at Carnegie Hall in New York, but alongside a few other choirs, not solo.
Real success meant doing their own concert at Carnegie Hall, so about a year ago Starker decided it was time. “I emailed the people at Carnegie Hall and I asked, ‘How do I book Carnegie Hall?’ They told me and I booked it, there and then! Then I had to look for the money to fund it,” says Starker. “Renting the hall is about $15,000.”