After a successful Winter Fundraising Concert on Sunday, December 18, POHC got back to business with a Community Concert on Wednesday, December 21. This was our second concert at The Times Square, the nation's largest permanent supportive housing project for low-income and formerly homeless individuals and persons living with HIV/AIDS, operated by Common Ground. After warming up in a tiny basement room where we left the door open and serenaded the people in the computer room next door, we went up to the spacious fifteenth floor ballroom to sing to more than 100 residents at their holiday party. The MC for the evening, complete with clip board and Santa hat, told us there was a small band on before us, and he didn’t want any break in the entertainment—we were to go on the minute the band ended.
We walked in while they were playing their last number, an instrumental rendition of Jingle Bells, so we provided an impromptu vocal accompaniment, threading our way through people finishing their dinners as we sang our way to the front. By the end of the song, we were already in formation. There couldn’t have been a more seamless transition from one act to the next.
From our first number, Seasons of Love, we had their attention. When René introduced Ocho Kandelikas (Eight Candles, a Hanukkah song in Ladino) he said we would get faster and faster with the addition of each candle. One man shouted, “Go for it!” Indeed, every time we came to the "uno-dos-tres" line, there was a woman singing it right along with us.
The audience was polite during the opening measures of Silver Bells, not realizing what song it was until we got to the “City sidewalks, Busy sidewalks” familiar melody, and then they applauded--even though it was the beginning of the song.
All the song introductions got applause. They were especially rapt when Judith explained the Kwanzaa song, Seven Principles, and they sang along with many, including Silent Night and Let There Be Peace On Earth.
As we were making our exit, doing a reverse threading through the tables, many audience members thanked us personally. One man said, “Thank you. I mean really, thank you so much!” Another gave high-fives to those of us who walked past his table. Go POHC!
-Peace of Heart Alto It has become a tradition for a member of POHC to do a post-concert write-up. It started when our Sign-up Coordinator began emailing her summaries to the other members in order to entice newer members to sign-up to sing at community concerts held early in the season. It didn't take long for Concert Write-ups to become greatly anticipated amongst our members, so we share them here in hopes that you'll join us at a future concert.