At St. Luke In the Fields

It was a triple kickoff day! Not only was it The POHC inaugural concert of the Spring season at St. Lukes of the Fields, but our concert was part of the kickoff for Sing New York, and we debuted POHC’s ad hoc accompanist (and singing member), Marv. We sang in the lovely church of St. Luke in the Fields, on one of the quieter streets in Greenwich Village. Call time was 3:00pm. POHC Tenor Gary was out front directing us: walk through the little garden to the back entrance, then go on a follow-the-yellow-brick-road adventure around corridors and down stairs to the choir room in the basement, where we did most of our warm-up. The last part of the warm-up was upstairs in the chapel itself, where we were to perform.

There was a smattering of people in the audience—maybe ten or fifteen—sitting in widely separated seats, most in the back. They clapped for all the warm-up songs. Then it was 4:00pm, time for the real performance. Since we were already in formation, we didn’t go offstage and come back on. Steering Committee Co-Chair Larry just announced to the audience that the warm-up was over and the performance would begin, and they would hear the same songs again. They were cool with that.

René’s flute behaved, and Marv accompanied us for our version of The Pretenders' I’ll Stand By You, leaving René free to conduct. The audience was small but enthusiastic. They listened to all the introductions and clapped for all the songs the second time around, too. I found Larry’s comments about Simon Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water most interesting—how he first heard the song in the late 1960s in South Africa, and the next morning sang what he remembered of the melody to the proprietor of a record store because he didn’t remember the name of the song. The proprietor knew what song it was and Larry came away with a 33-rpm record. Years later, Larry was in Trafalgar Square in London when Nelson Mandela came to talk, and they played Bridge Over Troubled Water that day, too.

There was another group performing after we finished, and some of us stayed for that. All in all, despite the small audience, it was an auspicious beginning to our season.

-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.