From Carnegie Hall back to Blake, Michael Noaker sings

Emily Moore '13, Managing Editor

It’s certain that you’ve seen him amid other vocalists, lined across the risers in the Juliet Nelson Auditorium, while singing in perfect harmony, wowing their audience, but the extent to which Mike Noaker’13 participates in choral groups outside of Blake, is relatively unknown. It was during the A-Cappella Choir’s visit to the Highcroft campus back in the day, where Noaker unearthed his love for music. He notes that despite the discouragement from his peers, Noaker aspired to sing like the performers he listened to as a fifth grader. “I heard [the A Cappella choir] sing for only a couple minutes before I decided I loved singing. I decided right then and there that I would one day be the one looking out at a crowd spilling out my heart with my voice. Four years later, I got my dream.”

It’s evident that Noaker’s humble childhood dream grew into much more. While Noaker is an active member of A Cappella choir at the Upper School (as well as various National honor choirs), his dream led him beyond the walls of Room 101. In fact, his it carried him all the way to New York City, where Mike recently performed at Carnegie Hall. In New York, Noaker had the opportunity to share his joy for singing with 300 vocalists from around the world. He was exposed to this program through his involvement in the OAKE National Honor Choir. Noaker was selected by an anonymous choral director to submit a recording to the Carnegie Hall choir. Several months later, he was notified of his acceptance, to which he, “Squealed and everyone in the art wing stared,” Noaker remarked.

Yet, Noaker’s hard work continued even after he had arrived in New York City. In addition to receiving admission into the Carnegie Hall program, rehearsal schedules were demanding as well. Singers practiced for six hours in the morning, disbanded for lunch in the city, and returned for seven more hours of choral direction. Evenings were filled with glimpses of other forms of performance arts, such as attending shows on Broadway. Noaker especially enjoyed these Broadway outings, as, aside from the music selected for him from his choral directors, Noaker has a, “weakness for duets and Broadway musicals.” He says he’s partial to all genres of music (beside jazz). Dubstep pulses the insides of his car, but really he’s most fascinated with A Cappella covers to current songs. He mentions “Scary Monsters” and “Nice Sprites” as some of his recent favorites.

While vocal music seems inseparable from Noaker’s life, whether in Carnegie Hall, beside Ms. Enstad’s piano, or during his ride to school, Noaker has also dipped into other musical disciplines. He learned to play the piano in second grade and says that instead of enlivening the keys with pieces by Bach or Mozart, Noaker prefers to write his own music. He comments that, “it’s never easy to let people see something you create.” However, regardless of the vulnerability of composing pieces Noaker can, “whip out ‘The Entertainer’ or the Star Wars theme song at will, but the real challenge of piano is exposing yourself in something you write.”

When time permits, Noaker enjoys taking a break from singing to explore other fields in music. His fifth grade dream of singing as an A Cappella member has led Mike Noaker across the country and back. Noaker’s passion for vocal studies has transcended the classroom and allowed him to discover new areas of the musical world.