We are a volunteer community choir that came together shortly after the September 11, 2001 tragedies. Our aim is to promote healing, diversity, community bonding, and mutual understanding through music. We perform free of charge to social service providers. These include area shelters, hospitals, hospices, elderly homes, and providers of services to the disabled.
We believe that the power of music is universal. The music we sing reflects the ethnic, racial and cultural backgrounds and traditions of our membership and audiences. Our goal is to leave our audiences joyous.
We encourage our audiences to sing with us and we remain after our performances to bond with them.
15 Years of Singing
We have more than ten years of experience producing live music, rehearsing and performing weekly outreach concerts throughout the fall and spring seasons.
Few other choirs can match our schedule and volume of concerts in venues large and small, indoors and outdoors.
The choir is self-managed by a dedicated core group of 30 members. We include professional singers, musicians, designers, marketers, programmers and community activists.
We are an inclusive group and make concerted efforts to include individuals from all communities. Auditions are held twice a year and we welcome all.
The Peace of Heart Choir formed soon after the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center.
In the aftermath of tragedy, New York City became flooded by volunteers — one of the most profound displays of support the country had ever seen.
At one point, there were too many volunteers and not enough work to go around.
Affected profoundly, both by a collective and and individual sense of loss, many people desperately wanted to contribute to the city's healing efforts.
In those difficult times, NYC RECOVERS, an alliance of organizations, formed in order to rebuild social bonds strained after the destruction of the Twin Towers.
Comprising more than 1000 organizations and spanning all five boroughs, NYC RECOVERS cooperatively carried out recovery events throughout the “Year of Recovery,” September 2001 to December 2002.
During one of these recovery events, Jeff Becker, a founding member of the choir, was asked to write a song and organize its choral performance. Many phone calls and emails later, 28 volunteers had signed up to perform.
On November 17th, 2001 the group — provisionally known as the NYC RECOVERS Choir — gave its first performance in Washington Square Park singing Jeff Becker’s new composition, “It Takes a Village.”
As weeks turned into months, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse rates shot up sharply across New York. The holiday season, already a stressful period for some, compounded these problems, particularly for those who had lost loved ones.
On Dec. 17, 2001, the choir performed for “SpeakOUT: LGBT Voices for Recovery.”
Afterwards, people approached our fledgling group of choral singers and shared how it was the first time they had laughed or felt hope since 9/11.
We knew we had found our mission.
The Peace of Heart Choir was born.
By 2005, the Choir would significantly extend its reach.
In those four short years of expansion, we would grow to perform 20 outreach concerts per year — still our current service rate — at non-profit service providers throughout the city.
Semi-annually, usually in late Spring and then again during the Winter/Holiday season, we perform two benefit concerts.
Annually, we participate in open-event concerts like the "Vigil for International Peace" in Central Park and the "Make Music New York" citywide festival.
What's more, the Choir presents a free public concert every September 11th.
In 2011, the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks, in addition to our regular performance schedule, we performed a series of free public concerts in Lower Manhattan as well as a private concert for 9/11 families at Federal Hall.
In 2013, two of the Choir's recorded songs, “It Takes a Village” and “Bright Morning Star,” became part of the permanent collection of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, an honor which means they periodically are played during exhibitions and events at the museum.
We are proud to be singing into our second decade.