Singing at Carnegie Hall

Mastersingers Take Carnegie Hall”

Freshman Alisa Yakovenko and Sophomore Sarah Burton, both members of Archmere’s elite choral group, the Mastersingers, write about what it was like to sing at Carnegie Hall as part of the National Youth Choir. For the second time in three years, the Archmere Mastersingers were chosen as the featured solo choir

Archmere Mastersingers, featured solo choir at Carnegie Hall.

Archmere Mastersingers perform at Carnegie Hall.

“Ladies and gentlemen, from Claymont, Delaware, I proudly present to you the Mastersingers of Archmere Academy!”

Standing backstage before show time, we felt a mix of nerves and excitement. Archmere’s eight soloists prepared to sing their parts, while Mr. Ifkovits tried to frantically remind us of every detail to watch out for in each selection.

As we walked onto the stage, we couldn’t help but glance up into the highest balconies and search for familiar faces in the audience. As we began to sing the first notes of our first piece, all nervousness fell away and we became lost in the moment; singing with some of our best friends in the most prestigious concert hall in the nation. This was clearly different from any concert performance we had ever given.

At the beginning of the school year, it was announced that the Archmere Academy Mastersingers had been invited to perform in the National Youth Choir at Carnegie Hall in March of 2015. Soon afterwards, we were informed that the Mastersingers unanimously had been chosen as the Featured Choir at Carnegie Hall as well, meaning that we would perform our own selection. This was the second time in three years Archmere had received this honor, becoming only the second ensemble in the history of the National Youth Choir Festival to perform as the Featured Choir twice.

Since September, we had been working hard in the choir room in preparation for this moment; every hour of sleep lost, every eraser thrown, and every Claymont Steak Shop fry consumed was worth it as we finished our program and the audience rose to their feet to give a standing ovation.

Selected from Archmere’s Concert Choir, each year thirty young singers are chosen to travel, compete, and perform additional concerts in various venues throughout the region. Ranging from freshmen to seniors, this group is not just a choir, but a family.  Over the countless hours of practice time after school, we had grown inseparable. Without Archmere, this group of talented high schoolers would not have had the opportunity to bond and grow as musicians and people.

Archmere provides students the chance to excel in all areas, whether it is academically, athletically, or artistically. We both feel incredibly thankful to be members of the Mastersingers. The performance opportunities we have had this year alone are greater than what most people experience in a lifetime, and we can’t wait to see what experiences the future will bring.

— Sarah Burton ‘17 and Alisa Yakovenko ‘18

Student Spotlight – Conor Furey ’14


Featured today in The Wilmington News Journal, Conor Furey is making his mark.  While earning top grades in the classroom, he has played football, basketball, baseball, and rugby at Archmere.  He is being recruited by Ivy League schools like Yale and Penn for his excellence both on and off the field.  Don’t let his tough exterior fool you, though.  The 6’5″ senior is as tough as nails on the football field, but off the field he is friendly, warm-hearted, and humble.

Head Football Coach Jerry Ambrogi ’76 sums it up best:  “I think that Conor epitomizes the consummate Archmere student/athlete. He has been a three sport athlete over the past three years and maintained a 3.9 GPA while taking Honors and AP classes for most of his curriculum. He is the perfect example of destroying the myth that a young man or woman has to concentrate on one sport in order to gain access to college recruitment. Conor has chosen Yale to continue his academic and athletic journey after his career at Archmere. In my 32 years here at Archmere as a coach, I have never met a better representative of his team, school, and especially family than Conor. The reward of an Ivy League education is a testament to his hard work on and off the field. I feel very blessed to have had Conor be a part of my program and more importantly my life.”

Drew and I met with Conor earlier today to congratulate him on all of his achievements and he shared with us some words of wisdom he would like to pass along to future Auks: “My favorite things about Archmere have to be the community that is here now as well as the people who came before me who laid the foundation for our tradition of success. I think that anyone looking at Archmere should definitely come shadow and witness the community here. When I shadowed, I felt so welcome and I think that everyone who comes to Archmere should embrace the community and get involved. I have made friends for life, not just in my peers but in my teachers, coaches, and mentors.”

Conor has certainly found a way to create his legacy here. Come to Archmere, develop your talents, explore new interests, and create yours as well.