I walked up to the entrance of the Jewish Community Center and found Alex waiting outside. We walked inside to see where we were warming up. I saw the various activities going on as part of the day. I walked up to two women and realized one of them was Gia, who had helped set up our concert. I complimented her on her shiny silver headband and then I took off my hat to reveal my shiny gold one. “It’s obviously ‘Shiny Headband Day’,” she said in solidarity with a smile on her face. Alex and I then went down to the lower level and met Noella and several other choir members along the way. The room where we would rehearse had obviously changed. Back up one flight again. We rehearsed a bit with a little lift from Lily’s delicious homemade sweet potato latkes and then it was time to begin. We were not allowed any musical accompaniment or even a pitch pipe for this performance in respect for the Holidays. In the JCC setting, we definitely included Chiribim as part of our program and included Od Yavo. The day was filled with family activities including face painting and this was obvious from the families and children in attendance.
Our performance began with our signature opening number, Siyahamba. Gail and Lily provided lovely vocal support in our song of welcome, Wanemo. Od Yavo was fun and spirited as we sped up and slowed down at various points and built up momentum towards the end under Rene’s direction. Next was the Gaelic song, Geantri. One of our core repertoire songs, Michael Row the Boat Ashore followed. During this song, an adorable toddler in a navy blue and yellow shirt and overalls kept trying to grab the words we had handed out from his mother’s hand as she was trying to sing the words from the sheet. She eventually walked out with her toddler--guess he wanted to sing too. The Yiddish song, Chiribim, was next with spirited vocals and introduction by Lily. A lovely acapella version of Light One Candle followed. Next was the sing-along Down by the Riverside. Kwanzaa Song was on the original program but as we realized that it was a holiday song, it was excluded from this concert. The sing-along Rock-A-My-Soul was next followed by a lovely acapella Give Us Hope and the Peace of Heart Choir anthem, a lovely Let There Be Peace on Earth.
It was nice to look out into the audience and see several familiar faces from last year’s outreach at the JCC. After the concert, a lady thanked us for an enjoyable concert. I saw a happy child with brightly colored paint decorating their face who had just participated in the face painting activity. It was so nice to have again been part of this annual event.
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