WARWICK — How do you get to Carnegie Hall?
Christopher Davey knows the answer to the question that’s been challenging America’s most talented performers for decades – practice, practice, practice.
The fruits of the accomplished Bishop Hendricken High School junior’s labors will pay off on Feb. 19 when he joins other high schools from the United States and Canada for a special performance at Carnegie Hall, a venue which marks the pinnacle of musical achievement.
Davey, a baritone, is a member of Hendricken’s Young Men’s and Select choirs. He was recently selected to appear in the 2011 American Honors High Honors Series in New York City and will sing with the Honors Choir, an elite group of the highest ranked high school vocalists.
“I feel humbled,” Davey said of his selection. “It is such a respected performance hall.”
Davey is the son of Peter and Kathryn Davey, a Warwick music teacher. The Daveys are members of Immaculate Conception Church, Cranston.
Mary Jo Gambardella, a member of Hendricken’s music faculty and choral director, nominated Davey for the prestigious performance. He auditioned last fall for the honors series by submitting an application and tape recording, and was accepted after a comprehensive review by the selection committee.
“I’m thrilled for Christopher and his family,” said Gambardella, noting that the young vocalist is the third Davey brother to sing in the choir. Brothers Patrick (Class of 2003) and Matthew (Class of 2010) are also talented singers, while brother Peter (Class of 2002) doesn’t sing, he always enthusiastically supports his siblings’ efforts.
Performing before large audiences doesn’t scare Davey, who sang with the 60-member Hendricken choir last year for Pope Benedict XVI during a papal audience held in Pope Paul VI Hall, and later offered a powerful solo rendition of “I Lift Up My Soul” during Mass at the tomb of St. Francis in Assisi.
“Half the room was in tears,” Davey said, recalling the beauty of the basilica where the saint is buried.
The award-winning vocalist, who also serves as a cantor and member of the hand bell choir at Immaculate Conception Church, began singing at age eight and has enjoyed starring roles in several musicals including Les Miserables, Music Man and Suessical the Musical.
In addition to his musical studies at Hendricken, Davey also studies with Rene de la Garza, a member of the voice faculty at the University of Rhode Island.
Last summer, Davey won a scholarship to the Rhode Island College Workshop and earlier placed first in the high school division in a competition hosted by the Rhode Island National Association of Singing, held at the University of Rhode Island.
From 2007-2009, the talented young man was a member of the Rhode Island Junior All-State Chorus, and last year was selected to participate in the senior level chorus.
While he’s undecided about pursuing music as a career, Davey emphasized that he will never stop singing.
Borrowing a line from Brian Cordeiro, former director of Bishop Hendricken’s Arts Academy, Davey said he lives according to the motto “Don’t miss the moment.” He applies the same maxim when he’s on the soccer field, where he plays as a member of Hendricken’s award-winning varsity soccer team.
“Don’t let life pass you by,” the gifted young vocalist added, noting that he is already planning for the Hendricken choir’s musical tour to Spain and Portugal next year.