I looked for the red double doors noted in the Peace of Heart Choir email with details for our outreach at Advent Lutheran Church and when I spotted the red doors I knew I had found the right place. I walked through the red double doors on the side of the building and walked down the stairs to the basement past a long line of those in need waiting to be admitted for their monthly luncheon—in this case, a Thanksgiving meal.
When I arrived downstairs, I found preparations underway—volunteers scurrying to get everything ready. There was a room in the back with countless pieces of pumpkin pie. I was very early and so was a small contingent of Peace of Heart Choir singers who were in the middle of it all chatting with Rene. Volunteers cleaned tables and we began to do our vocal warm-up. Our performance area was definitely going to be a tight fit but we adapt easily. There were rows and rows of tables with at least 75 people in attendance. Perhaps that is a low estimate. There easily could have been over a hundred. Sightlines were tricky because there were several poles in the way so not everyone in attendance had an unobstructed view.
Nonetheless, as our audience began their meals and volunteers came around serving food, we opened our outreach with our signature opening piece, Siyahamba. We continued with the lovely sounds of Wanemo with fine vocal support from Gail and Cheryl. The Maori love ballad Pocarekare Ana was next followed by Barry’s impromptu heartfelt version of It Had To Be Youto which several audience members sang along. Next was the sing-along Down By The Riverside with fine musical accompaniment by Dave on guitar.
One minor difference though we did not go into the audience to shake hands as usual. It was clear we did have a cheering section in the lady in the red sweater with a white scarf wrapped around her head. As Lexi declared, “This lady was great!” I know she definitely put a smile on my face and moved me with her enthusiasm. I can’t agree with Rob more wholeheartedly in his assessment that she embodies what the spirit of outreach is all about. She was most visibly affected by Carole King's You’ve Got A Friend with lovely vocal support from Laura and Wilfred. She sang along, mouthing the words and even began to cry. James Taylor's Lonesome Road was next with another fine vocal turn from Wilfred. Rene looked out to us and at this point signaled we had done enough, yes? And so all was left but one of our core songs, Let There Be Peace on Earth which was introduced by Ruth and was a lovely way to end the afternoon.
- Carrie, 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