As we took our places in two very looooong rows in the long, narrow room—too narrow for our traditional three—one of the young women called out to me, “Hey! I remember you from last time!” I remembered her, too.
It’s always homecoming day when we sing at YAI, an organization that, according to their website, provides “hope and opportunity to people of all ages with developmental disabilities.” Our connection to them runs deep. Anthony, POHC baritone, is a member of both POHC and YAI, and YAI members staff the food concession table during the intermission at POHC fundraiser concerts.
Anthony, our host for the evening, introduced the choir to wild cheering, and then we were off with “Siyahamba.” When we finished it, someone called out, “Can you sing it again?”
One of the great things about the YAI audience is that they call out. At other venues, it’s POHC who takes the lead in interacting with the audience. At YAI, they initiate the dialogue. And they keep it going. When we finished “One Day,” someone shouted, “That was beautiful. What’s her name?” Olga, Rene said. There were requests for other choir members’ names, so Rene had us each introduce ourselves. And they asked for specific songs. We couldn’t comply with requests for “Hey Jude,” “Cats in the Cradle,” and “My Saving Grace,” but we did for “He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands.”
This enthusiastic audience loved all our numbers, both the ones we did ourselves and the singalongs. Even the people who didn’t call out were listening. Watching. Bouncing to the music.
- All You Need is Love (Alex, MaryAnn, Deb)
- Te Quiero (Charlie, Gail)
- One Day (Olga, Wilfred)
- Mo Li Hua (Marv on flute)
- This Little Light of Mine
- Bright Morning Star
- Michael Row Your Boat Ashore
- This Land is Your Land
After our signature closing with “Let There Be Peace On Earth” (Wilfred), someone shouted out, “You guys are amazing!"
So are you, YAI.
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