'Giving back to her:' Bel Canto Chorus honors Carlie Beaudin with heartfelt final season performance

MILWAUKEE -- Hundreds gathered at the St. Josaphat Basilica Friday evening, May 17 for a moving performance in honor of a 33-year-old nurse practitioner killed in January.

Carlie Beaudin was so many things in the community. As many know, she was part of the Bel Canto Chorus. She would've been part of the group's final season performance -- instead, she's become the inspiration for the night's music.

Bel Canto Chorus honors Carlie Beaudin (Credit: Jessica Kaminski)

The last notes of Bel Canto's 88th season echo through the iconic St. Josaphat Basilica. The Bel Canto Chorus held nothing back when it came to celebrating the life of their departed soprano, Carlie Beaudin.

Bel Canto Chorus honors Carlie Beaudin

"I want people to remember Carlie -- not the way she died, but the way she lived," said a friend.

Her life was cut short at the age of 33. Prosecutors say in January, the nurse practitioner was walking to her vehicle inside a Froedtert Hospital parking structure when she was attacked by 27-year-old Kenneth Freeman. She is survived by her loving husband who was in attendance.

Bel Canto's musical director says Friday night's performance centers around the theme of death. The performance was designed to be an emotional release for the audience.

Bel Canto Chorus honors Carlie Beaudin (Credit: Jessica Kaminski)

"Anyone who has experienced loss will have that lens of music where they can experience their own emotions," said Richard Hynson, music director.

Bel Canto Chorus honors Carlie Beaudin

One song in particular -- called "In Paradisum" -- has been the most moving for the chorus.

"It's the text in which the angels of heaven welcome the soul to paradise," said Hynson. "This is our way of giving back to her what she brought to us."

One of Beaudin's friends explained what this season's final performance means to her.

At last check, over 400 tickets were sold for the performance.