When Rachel Zettler sings, she says it’s an emotional experience.
“I like singing, because it gives you an outlet,” she said. “It gives you an opportunity to feel certain emotions that you might not normally feel.”
Zettler then conveys those emotions to her listeners.
“It’s very exciting to know that you just made somebody’s day or that you touched someone or you moved them so much that they cry after you sing,” the junior at University of North Georgia in Dahlonega said.
Zettler is bringing her talents to New York City when she performs at today at Carnegie Hall as part of the Honors Choir in the Young Adult Honors Performance Series.
Participation in the Honors Performance Series is limited to the highest-rated young adult performers from around the world, according to a news release about the concert. The Honors Performance Series was created to showcase accomplished individual young performers on an international level by allowing them to study under master conductors and perform in Carnegie Hall, which is one of the world’s most prestigious concert venues in Midtown Manhattan.
This is not Zettler’s first time to sing at the iconic concert venue though.
She sang there twice during high school — once as part of the High School Honors Performance Series and once with her high school choir from Savannah Arts Academy. She still keeps in touch with several young singers she met then.
But this is the first year the program has been offered for young adults.
“Because I did do it in high school, I got an invitation to apply,” Zettler said. “All of us (who) participated in high school got an invitation to participate in this choir. We still had to go through the audition process.”
The music in the young adult program is more difficult than the high school program, Zettler said. She said she’s excited to see how all of the singers voices’ will come together.
“We each bring such individual things to this music and hearing it all come together with different styles and singing ... just hearing all the voices come together is so interesting,” the 22-year-old said. “I’m so excited to see what kind of sound we can produce. And for it to be in Carnegie Hall, that’s just the cherry on top.”
John Broman, director of choral activities at the University of North Georgia, said it’s a wonderful opportunity for Zettler.
“She’s a very fine, fine vocalist,” he said. “It’s no wonder that she’s been selected for this.”
Broman described Zettler as one of the very teachable soprano leaders at UNG.
“She has the type of spirit where she’s very receptive to advice,” he said, indicating it will help her become a better singer. “She came in with a great attitude and a great deal of talent that she’s honed and developed.”
Originally from Savannah, Zettler is a general studies major, focusing on music, business and social sciences. With that education along with her voice, she hopes to work in some capacity at Disney World in Orlando, whether it involves singing or not. And she has some experience, she was part of its summer intern program.
But music has always been part of her life. Zettler started singing in her Catholic school’s choir in second grade. Then in seventh grade, she started private voice lessons. She later became a member of the Savannah Children’s Choir.
Zettler is a member of the University of North Georgia University Singers, Le Belle Voci and Auraria Women’s Jazz Ensemble. So making friends in the honors choir — she said she doesn’t know anyone yet — shouldn’t be difficult.
Zettler flew to New York on Thursday and rehearsed with the choir, which includes singers from 34 states and two different Canadian provinces. She said she was required to learn and memorize six songs before arriving.
“Most of our time is spent in practices,” Zettler said. “There will be some free time to kind of go explore a little bit and do what we want to do since we are young adults.”
Other activities planned for participants are a cruise in the New York Harbor and the opportunity to see an opera at the Metropolitan Opera House or a play on Broadway. Zettler plans to see “Kinky Boots” on Broadway.