We lined up in the hall while Peace of Heart Choir Tenor, Anthony went in to introduce the Choir. Applause. Then, from inside, René gave pitches for “Siyahamba,” but they reached the hall only faintly. So POHC member Angela took up the call, singing the soprano part loud and clear while she walked down the line. We picked out our own pitches and took up the song as we marched in. By the time we were all assembled in rows, we were singing full-strength, Zulu, English, Zulu, English, with René on the drum. There was rhythm in the room and joy on the faces of our young audience at YAI.Then came the rest of the songs, starting with Imagine.
The audience sang along sometimes, listened quietly other times. One young man recorded each song on his cell phone, somehow managing to hold the phone still in his hand while the rest of his body gyrated to the music—an isolate-that-muscle feat worthy of a subway entertainer. We always encourage our audiences to participate, but this time, I liked that the audience did not clap along to This Land is Your Land. Instead, they were holding the song sheets, reading and singing. Clapping might have distracted them and it was nice to join voices.
During that song, one girl in the front row pointed to us and herself every time we came to the line “This land belongs to YOU and ME.” They did clap along during Down by the Riverside, though, and they liked shaking hands with the choir members who walked through the audience during the verse that says “Gonna shake hands around the world.” We know this audience. We’ve sung for them many times, yet our connection with them always feels fresh.
They’re good listeners, good participators, and they enjoy the introductions as much as the music. They pick up the mood of the songs and reflect them back. During Bright Morning Star, one young lady who likes to speak and share comments during the performance, was quiet during the first part. For a moment, she thought the song was over and started to say something, but when she saw that it was continuing, she was quiet again. Our music hath charms to soothe...
It was nice to have our former director, Abby, in the audience. Also nice to see the man in a pin-striped shirt and tie in the back row. I have no idea who he was, but I enjoyed watching his face. He listened intently the whole time, but during the last song, Give Us Hope, he looked as if a spark had lit up his insides. And the German song, Die Gedanken, introduced by POHC Alto Susannah, was special for me after she had previously shared some thoughts about her daughter. What better place for our first concert of the season than YAI, where we’re always welcomed with exuberance. (That’s an understatement.)
- 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.