Swell the Chorus of the Union

A casual observer might think I went to New York for the Belmont Stakes, the Tony Awards or the Puerto Rican Day parade this past weekend. Regular readers know that I planned the brief trip to see my wife sing Chronicles of Blue and Gray with the Knoxville Choral Society at Carnegie Hall.

Members of four different choirs made up the “super choir” that sang the piece on Sunday. In addition to the KCS, there were singers from the Maryville College Community Choir, the Treasure Coast Community Singers and the Columbus Choral Society. Chronicles of Blue and Gray was commissioned by the Knoxville Choral Society to honor their director in 2012.

My wife flew to New York on Thursday. The choir had intensive rehearsals on Friday and Saturday plus a dress rehearsal on Sunday morning. The concert started at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday. You wouldn’t know that the singers were from different groups. They blended perfectly as one.

The performance was outstanding. The combination of dedicated singers, who were willing to pay their own way to New York, top-notch musicians and the historic concert hall made it an unforgettable experience. I could see the joy on composer John Purifoy’s face as he took his bows alongside the conductor.

Photography was not permitted during the concert. Distinguished Concerts International New York has posted professional photos on their Facebook page and will offer pictures for sale. Lots of people took pictures of the beautiful venue before the show and during intermission. I also snapped a photo of the free Ricola cough-drop dispenser in the lobby.

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