Monday, December 2, 2019

Carnegie Hall and NYC

Nana and Papa's trip to New York City turned out to be a dream come true that we didn't even know we were dreaming of. The Chancel Choir of the First United Methodist Church of Arroyo Grande, CA invited us to go to New York with them and sing at Carnegie Hall. What? Wait. Yes! Jamie directed that church choir from 1997 to 2007. Julie Burns took over then and is the current director.

"Is this really happening?" as we  walked onto that stage with over 200 other choir members (representing about 20 different choirs) and a full orchestra under the direction of our favorite choral music composer/arranger, Mark Hayes. And when the echos of the final song ended, the entire audience (nearly a full house!) popped to their feet in a standing ovation. Wow. To say it was a thrill might be the understatement of all time.

The event was produced/organized by Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY). They have this down, and working with Carnegie Hall is not a simple thing, apparently. We had two rehearsals at outside venues, one run-through on stage that afternoon, and then the performance at 7pm that night, December 2, 2019 in the Stern Auditorium (seats 2,800) on the Perelman Stage. Following the concert 200+ of us gathered at Rosie O'Grady's Saloon for a buffet dinner, drinks, and to let down our hair. Rosie's was right across the street from where we stayed, the Sheraton New York Times Square.

And the review is in... From New York Concert Review, Inc. - click here.

For a list of our repertoire and links to where you can hear the pieces (not recordings of our performance), click here.

Click here for the story/photos on the Arroyo Grande Methodist Church website.

Of course, while we were in NYC, we managed to do much other fun stuff as well. The Sheraton was perfectly located for walking access to lots of iconic sites. Here are some of the places we visited:

9/11 Memorial Museum and the underground mall next door. This was the only visit for which we needed a cab.

Playwright Celtic Pub where we met Kaza's friend, Danny.

Times Square.

Patsy's Italian Restaurant.

Frozen at the St. James Theatre.

Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse.

Park Cafe in the Wellington Hotel.

Rockefeller Center. While we had breakfast we watched them setting up for the Christmas Tree lighting which was scheduled for the next evening.

St. Patrick's Cathedral.

A stroll along 5th Avenue with Saks, Cartier, Tiffany, and lots of fabulous window displays.

Central Park.

Beetlejuice at the Winter Garden Theatre.

All the photos are here. A few photos are below.

9/11 Memorial Museum

Our concert badges.

Frozen curtain call (they said it was OK to photo)

Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse

Jamie's view during the afternoon rehearsal in Carnegie Hall.

In the green room before the concert.

Rockefeller Center

St. Patrick's Cathedral

A shop window on 5th Avenue

Central Park


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