The 9/11 Memorial is a contemplative, park-like outdoor space with lawns, walkways, and rows of trees surrounded by ivy groundcover. POHC was honored to be one of four groups performing there on 9/12. The bagpipes were the first group, while it was still light; when they finished, they graciously posed for pictures with choir members. Next came a string chamber group whose sound was all but lost in the great outdoors until Rene, Brian, and Dave assisted them with POHC amplification equipment brought by Rene. Third was a singer who has sung the “Star Spangled Banner” in all fifty states. When she finished singing it here, she invited her “friend who I just met,” Evelyn, a POHC soprano, up to the podium to read a poem she (the Star Spangled Banner singer) wrote about love of country and flag.
All this took some time, and when the POHC ascended the podium, the light was fast fading. There was still a sizable audience on the grass, though. How many were POHC family and friends, and how many random passers-by, I do not know. We sang ten songs, all well-received. What was more challenging than getting our sound to carry in the open space was the light. From the time we sang our first song, “Senzenia,” to the time we sang our last, “Let There be Peace on Earth,” our sheet music went from visible to invisible. For some songs, that was no problem—most of us knew them by heart. Others, like “Hard Times” and “Cherokee Morning Song,” were not as easy. It was also difficult for Rene to see the pitches on his pitch pipe. Despite all this, we sounded wonderful. I think we all felt very good about our performance—not just for the way we sang, but for our participation in the commemoration.
A note on the attached photo: The memorial park is surrounded by the tall buildings of downtown Manhattan. From our lineup on the podium, before we started singing, I took this picture of the sunset being reflected in one of those buildings. (Sorry it’s a bit fuzzy.)
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