Dateline: 17 Jan 2007 – New York City
Midnight – the Hudson River looks like a fancy bracelet laid out with lights sparklin’ like rocks, shaken and stirred by the slow moving ferry ‘Spirit of America’. The covered deck is loaded with monkey-suited guys and evenin’-gowned gals. One of the guys takes out a small violin case. The sort that would make Joe Bananas or Tony Soprano think of air conditioning.
You know it as soon as he displays….a ukelele and they all begin to sing “Start spreadin’ the noos, we’re leavin’ today…..New York, New York.”
This is no hoods’ convention, but the Dublin County Choir, led in this case by Brian Ingoldsby abetted by Chris McMahon et al (not that Al). All the singalongs are sung in four and eight parts as other members and choirs join in to unwind after the choral experience of a lifetime – performing to 2,500 people in Carnegie Hall ‘The Armed Man’ by Karl Jenkins. Jenkins himself had been in the audience.
For three days we in the DCC, along with choirs from Tennessee and England making up the full chorus of 250 singers, had worked hard polishing and rehearsing. It was a memorable experience and earned a standing ovation for the soloists, the conductor Jonathan Griffith, the composer and ourselves. After the performance both Jonathan and Karl Jenkins stood at the side of the stage to shake everyone’s hand. Adding to it was the fact that DCC feels a proprietorial bond with The Armed Man as we premiered it in Ireland at The Helix.
The New York memory is special and as clear as yesterday.
Wish it was tomorrow.