For me, an NYC newcomer, each POHC concert location is a fun way to see parts of the city off the beaten track. After solving a challenging 'shortest path problem' with the MTA trains and their weekend routes, I made my way to the Queens Library. One thing that struck me about the library was the heavy security. You expect it in airports, consulates and courthouses. But the benign act of reading is difficult to associate with possible criminal activity. Yet it is there, a vestige of the city's crime ridden past or an uncomfortable reminder of more current insecure times.
The security directed me to the library's auditorium where I found a few of the choir members already assembled. Rene sat at the charming baby grand piano placed just below the stage. After a few more choir members arrived we all went on stage and started our vocal warm ups. While we practised people heard the music and slowly trickled in. We took a short break and then started our performance.
A Queens Library event coordinator excitedly welcomed the audience and introduced the choir. Larry handed out lyrics to our songs and invited everyone to join us in singing. As in previous performances we started with 'Siyahamba'. Not only does it get the crowd excited, it also revs up the choir's energy for the entire performance. Probably one of the few songs no one needs music notation or lyrics to sing to!
Each song was introduced by a choir member and Barry really got in character to introduce the jazzed up version of 'Deck the Halls'. It was a complete crowd pleaser and we did a great job of it, gospel feel and all. Alex arrived just in time to introduce 'Little bitty pretty one' and rocked the solo, along with Nancy. Rene conducted us to do a wonderful decrescendo at the end of 'Little bitty pretty one' and we all 'mmmmed' to silence perfectly.
Our audience cheered us through but it was difficult to see their faces as most preferred the back rows and were hidden in the shadows. A few family members of our singers had also arrived to listen to us and were smiling throughout our performance. We concluded with 'Let there be peace' and mingled with the audience. It was a lovely rehearsal for our upcoming benefit concert.
- Noella, Peace of Heart Choir Soprano
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.