It was a long, trying day. I was running late. I had no working cell phone or home Internet among a host of other things--and then I walked into Rivington House and a lady with HIV in a wheelchair shouted out to me with a broad smile as I got onto the elevator, "You look so pretty." She put a smile on my face and put everything back into perspective. Everywhere there were signs to be aware upon entering if you had a cold or an infection. This put everything in perspective too. To the residents at Rivington House with HIV/AIDS, getting the common cold can be a life and death matter. I made my way to the recreation room in the Penthouse where Rene was rehearsing with a nice-sized group of Peace of Heart choir singers with all groups pretty well-represented. There was a small audience already present as we warmed up. The acoustics in the room were absolutely lovely as Rene was quick to point out.
And so the outreach with a small audience of fewer than 10 people began with a lovely rendition of Wanemo introduced by Enuma whose father had written the song, with a spirited duet by Gail and Leslie. Next up was "Downtown" with an introduction by Larry (for Pearl) as Pearl's roommate Christie Baugher was responsible for this arrangement and Pearl had suggested the song this season. "Downtown" felt light and free with lovely vocal support from Lenore and I think it was perhaps the first time we had performed it in an outreach so far this season.
"Morning Song" was to follow introduced by Nancy with Rene providing fine support on haunting FIRST NATION (Canadian) flute. Next I introduced the sing-along Michael Row the Boat and invited the audience to sing along with the chorus part, "Michael, row the boat ashore, Hallejulah"! I saw several audience members, particularly a man sitting towards the back start to bob his head and mouth the words. Barry then delivered an intro to our homage to Charlie Chaplin, "Smile" and Peace of Heart Choir delivered a solid rendition.
Next was "Paz y Libertad" introduced by Alejandra and Pokarekare Ana introduced by Evelyn. The sing-along "Rock-a My Soul" seemed to engage the small audience. One woman who sang along with me had the most colorful beads around her neck--some even resembled prayer beads, perhaps. I commented that I liked them. In response, she smiled and showed me her wedding ring and I was touched.
"Mas Que Nada" introduced by Rob in a lovely dedication to his mother as it was her favorite song. I know she would have enjoyed our version as it was spicy with fine vocal support from Nancy and Alejandra. Ruth introduced "Let There Be a Peace on Earth, a nice way to end the concert and obviously appreciated by the same gentleman who liked "Michael, Row Your Boat Ashore." Siyahamba was to end the concert. We took a bow and exited the recreational room. What a great outreach it was!
- Carrie, 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