FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Two Southwestern students will be performing in New York City’s legendary Carnegie Hall on Sunday evening, March 9. Mark Burnett and Michael Ware, both pursuing a master’s degree in church music, will sing John Rutter’s Requiem as part of a 300-member chorus on Sunday evening with the New England Symphonic Ensemble.

David Thye, professor of church music, also serves as the Principal Conductor-in-Residence with MidAmerica Productions in New York City, a major producer of concerts in Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center. Thye invited Burnett, who also serves as a minister of music in a local Baptist church, to bring a group composed of his church choir and fellow students to participate in his next concert at Carnegie Hall.

“The opportunity to perform where so many of the great music masters have performed is humbling and enthralling at the same time,” Burnett said. Burnett also acknowledged that the experience of organizing an ensemble for a trip of this magnitude will greatly assist the development of his administrative skills for future ministry endeavors.

Burnett is extremely grateful for the opportunities Thye has entrusted to him during the final year of his master’s degree. In addition to serving as this year’s associate director of the Oratorio Chorus, Burnett will also be conducting the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra at this year’s Gala Concert of Sacred Music at Bass Performance Hall on April 3.

Although Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary students engage in regular mission trips, this is a rare opportunity for students to perform at Carnegie Hall. However, Burnett was quick to acknowledge the evangelistic intent of the trip.

“The various groups that compose the 300-voice choir come from many backgrounds and experiences. We will be ready to share the Gospel with anyone we meet,” Burnett said. “It is my prayer that God will open doors for us to share Christ through this performance opportunity.”