It was a downright balmy afternoon marking Winter Solstice and Peace of Heart Choir's last outreach concert of the season and our second appearance this season at Housing Works. I arrived at the door to find Gary and Mr. Baker waiting in front of the building. Tasha greeted us and directed us to a room behind the main dining hall where Rene and a nice-sized group of choir members were rehearsing. We opened the outreach with Siyahamba and Rene explained the origins of the music. He invited Gary to tell the audience about Peace of Heart Choir and our mission. We continued with Wanemo, Child of Kwanzaa, Rock-A-My-Soul, Oy Es Dia De Placer, and our tongue-in-cheek numbers, Chanukah in Santa Monica and Cold and Fugue Season.
We had a short break during which Tasha who was referred to by one of the audience members as "teacher" drew a raffle for gift cards to Applebees and Darden's Restaurants (Red Lobster, etc.) which produced some audience excitement. The outreach continued with Imagine, one of my favorite songs which I introduced. One audience member seated up front visibly mouthed the words to the song and closed his eyes at several points, obviously feeling the music. We followed with a rousing Aquarius, heartfelt Over the Rainbow, and ended with Let There Be Peace on Earth which seemed to move the audience.
As I entered and left Housing Works, I noted the quilts, the mosaic pole with part of the mosaic formed in the shape of a peace symbol, and at the elevators there was the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stating the following: "Everyone has the right to a standard of living for his health and well-being of him/herself and his/her family including good clothing, housing and medical care, and necessary social services and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age, or other lack of livelihood or circumstances beyond his/her control."
After the concert, the involved audience member in the front row thanked me and I thanked him in return. As Michael Anne and other choir members conducted audience feedback after the outreach, many noted that Let There Be Peace on Earth was one of their favorites. There was an inspirational piece of artwork that faced us as we sang--a bright piece of artwork with a soaring bird. It was so appropriate that I was staring right at it as an audience member sitting in the back named Sealy interrupted my reverie and he said, "You guys lift my spirits up." We feel the same way, Sealy.
Peace and Happiness and Best Wishes for a Very Happy New Year,
- Carrie Wesolowski, 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.