It was a departure from her Lower School duties as Norfolk Collegiate Music Teacher Rachel Trotta, who along with her husband, Virginia Wesleyan College students and community members, took to the stage at Carnegie Hall on May 26, 2014.

Trotta was part of an ensemble that opened for British composer and conductor John Rutter and the New England Symphonic Ensemble. Trotta, 55 Virginia Wesleyan students and community members, opened the concert with a 30-minute performance conducted by her husband, Michael John Trotta, a professor at Virginia Wesleyan, and then joined a 250-member chorus and 60-piece orchestra to perform the Mozart Requiem at the end. 

“The Mozart Requiem was written in 1791 and it was the last piece of music written by Mozart before he died,” said Trotta. “It is a majestic piece of music, running at about 50 minutes, and it was an extremely powerful experience for me and the other singers.” 

Throughout the semester, Trotta has been dedicating her afterschool time to helping prepare Wesleyan’s choir by working on sectionals with the students on both pieces. Additionally, she has performed in most of the Wesleyan concerts this spring in preparation for the event. 

“As a K-5 music educator, it was a valuable experience for me on many professional levels, but two in particular stand out: it refined my skill as a performer and sightreader, and it also honed my skills as an educator of adults,” said Trotta. “The culmination of the experience was performing on one of the most renowned stages in the world and being directed by John Rutter, an English director who is internationally famous for his compositions, choral recordings and scholarship.”