The Hallmark of Battery Park City is an elegant residence facility that provides independent living, assisted living, and supportive services for seniors. We sang in their well-appointed lounge, arranging ourselves around the grand piano to face the two sections of the audience in front of us and one on the side. Those of us standing closest to the piano could also see past the audience into the adjoining game room, where four residents were sitting at a table playing cards. The Choir has sung at the Hallmark before and we always receive a warm reception from this culturally savvy, alert, and responsive audience. They pay close attention to the introductions as well as the music.
We opened with our usual: Siyahamba. At the end of our concert, Vivian was talking to a woman who said she liked that we sang songs “from around the world.” She said that when our very first song was in Zulu, she knew we were no ordinary group and this was going to be a special evening. We followed that with Wanemo and Child of Kwanza.
Next came Oseh Shalom. Several people in the audience sang along with it. Vivian was in a position to see into the game room, where the playing stopped and one of the gamers was tapping on the table in time to the music. (By the end of the concert, all the gamers had left the table to migrate over to the concert.)
This group did well with Rock-a My Soul, evidently knowing part-1 and being sports about singing parts-2 and -3. To help them along, some choir members went out front to lead them in their sections. They also liked our other sing-along, Down by the Riverside.
They knew who Tom Lehrer and enjoyed Chanukah in Santa Monica, which we followed with Oy Es Dia, Waltz of the Flowers, Rainbow, and Imagine. Then came Aquarius, with Brian Muni doing the solo honors. It was wildly received, even by this relatively sedate audience. It was nice to see the recreation worker dancing in the back of the audience.
Renee introduced our last number, Let There Be Peace on Earth, and many of them joined in on that, too.
At the end, the brother and sister duo of Marv and Vivian Conan went to talk to Marv’s wife’s aunt, who is 93 and was sitting in the front row. Some of the people sitting near her started talking to Vivian. One said she was a graduate of Hunter College and was interested to know that we sang there. Another said that Rene had mentioned a CD, and she asked how she could get one. At Rene’s suggestion, Vivian gave her the POHC pamphlet and she said she would get it online.
Vivian got questions about where we sang, how many we were, where we rehearsed, and “what is the background of your leader,” this from a resident who was impressed with Rene because when we sang, she could understand all the words. One man said that this was the most enjoyable entertainment he had been to there. Then he repeated, the most enjoyable.
The recreation worker invited us to join them for a coffee and cookies reception afterward, and a good time was had by all.
-Peace of Heart Choir Singer
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.