Exchange Teacher from Colombia Sings Her Way to Carnegie Hall
Adriana Antolinez’s musical talent has led her on a teaching journey that spans continents. And now, it has allowed her to perform at one of the most celebrated music venues in the world: New York City’s Carnegie Hall.
Originally from Colombia, Antolinez came to the USA in 2019 as a program member with Educational Partners International (EPI). She teaches music at Howard Hall Elementary School in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
While here, Antolinez has been singing as a soprano with Cumberland Choral Arts. The community choir, which performs music in genres ranging from classical to jazz, switched to virtual performances during the height of the COVID-19 shutdowns. It was a virtual choir video that caused the group to attract notice and gain an invitation to the renowned performance space.
The Carnegie Hall concert, “Once Upon a Morning: The Music of Pepper Choplin and Joseph M. Martin,” featured 10 choirs as well as individual singers from around the world. The invitees performed the music of composers and conductors Choplin and Martin, the evening’s featured guests.
Since 1891, Carnegie Hall has welcomed performers to its stage. Artists who have appeared there range from Tchaikovsky to Jay-Z, Mark Twain and Booker T. Washington to Simon and Garfunkel. The “Once Upon a Morning” production was a Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) event. DCINY programs run the gamut from concert experiences to educational programs.
For Antolinez, her Carnegie Hall visit was another high note in a successful school year. She was also selected as Howard Hall Elementary’s International Teacher of the Year.
Reflecting on the experience, she expressed gratitude for the opportunity to perform at the famous concert hall. She thanked her school and principal, Erica Fenner-McAdoo, “for the support in this great experience that is helping me grow as a person and professional in music education.”
Photo credit: Dan Wright Photography