New York was Amazing!
The New York trip was simply brilliant ! From start to finish.
Everybody arrived on The Square on time, Which was an achievement in itself, at 05:30 hrs on a chilly morning. The mini-bus arrived on time too, and we had an uneventful journey to Heathrow. It was a shame that we had to wait a while for our flight, but to be fair, the driver had understandably allowed plenty of time for traffic, which, in the event did not materialise. Eventually getting on the plane, there was a bit of seat juggling, so that husbands and wives could sit together.
Although the flight was quite long, the crew kept us fed and watered in a very professional manner, and all went well. The biggest problem arose when we arrived in America. AS ALWAYS, the security at the airport took nearly two hours to get through. But lo and behold, the expected minibus was waiting outside for us. What was noticeable was that it was much colder there than it had been in the UK; wetter too. But we were soon on our way to our accommodation. This was also good, and well up to hoped for level. Some of the group for a walk-about, to see the sights, of which there are plenty, and indeed in the rest of New York city. Others, quite wisely, went to bed, in readiness for the busy days to follow.
Friday saw us assemble in what is in fact the basement of an adjacent hotel.The word “basement” conjures up a vision of a low ceilinged, pokey little room, but how different it turned out to be! The 250 singers had plenty of room and were all seated, in a room some 20 feet high. (They do tend to do things BIG in New York !) I think we were all quite eager to meet the guy who had sent us such difficult arrangements for the songs to do. I think we were all surprised at the sensible approach that met us. Although quite long, the rehearsals were made interesting, by the shear talent of Deke Sharon, who made us WANT to sing.. And indeed, sing we did. – and very well too. None of our group really liked the song “As”, and we found that other choirs felt the same. Once this was made known to Mr.Sharon, he simply said, “Well,we wont do it then “.
After the quite long rehearsal, we dispersed to do our own thing. In one case, a very important thing, with Chris proposing to Freyja, and she accepting his proposal. CONGRATULATIONS to them !!! Some of us went to try different eating houses, while others went sight-seeing. Some interesting meals were eaten that day ! On Saturday, we met in the basement again, and started to learn some of the choreography, as well as meeting some very talented individuals who provided backing sounds to our very tuneful singing. We managed to refine the singing pretty well, though I think we had all had enough, by the time we dispersed. However the DCINY staff made themselves available for photographs and autographs.
On Sunday morning, we assembled in various different dressing rooms, in the Carnegie Hall itself. Fine if you can manage 4000 stairs to get up to your dressing room, then all the way down again to perform. We also met some of the performers from the first half of the show. The staff from DCINY were very efficient, and performed their monitoring duties very well. Next thing was……… we were on stage, and the full house were applauding our arrival. The concert itself lasted two hours, but it absolutely flew past.. It is very difficult to appreciate just how good, or bad we were, as you get a very distorted vision of the sound that the group were making when on the stage. But spies we had actually in the audience told us that it sounded truly awesome ! I think they were right, judging by the applause that followed every song.
After catching a second breath, we adjourned to a nearby restaurant, Rosie O`Grady`s, for a buffet meal of very high quality. Each choir had its own table, and we were made very welcome by all. Some of the ladies celebrated our efforts by drinking Manhatten cocktails. It was quite a tiring day, but we all went to bed with a wry smile that night, at a good job well done.
Our last day was left open, to do what we wanted to do in New York., sightseeing, shopping, etc.. then we all assembled back at one hotel, where, duly on time, our minibus arrived. This driver gave us the opportunity to see New York from its best vantage points, as he took us to the airport. A typical American airport, with little in the way of directions as to where you should go for your flight, but we managed. Many slept on the way home, as we arrived at Heathrow at a familiar hour, 05:30 again. Fortunately the minibus was waiting for us, and we got back to Raunds at 09:20. Tired, but happy. No doubt some went to sleep, while others went to work, but all with a sense of satisfaction at a job well done, and memories by the bucket-load. Best bit last. We have been invited back ! So we weren`t all that bad!
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It is with great excitement that A Different Direction Choir can announce it is going to New York to sing at the internationally renowned venue of Carnegie Hall on Sunday 24 March 2018. We will be participating in Total Vocal – a performance of contemporary a cappella under the creative direction of arranger/producer Deke Sharon (The Sing-Off, Pitch Perfect) as part of the Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) concert series.
We will join choristers from around the world to form the Distinguished Concerts Singers International and sing on stage in one of the acts with some 250 singers, meaning there will be 500 singers from around the world in the entire concert. Deke Sharon will lead the performance and will serve as the clinician for the residency.
Dr. Jonathan Griffith, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor forDCINY states: “A Different Direction Choir received this invitation because of the quality and high level of musicianship demonstrated by the singers as well as the exceptional quality of their audition recording.”
“It is quite an honor just to be invited to perform in New York. These wonderful musicians not only represent a high quality of music and education, but they also become ambassadors for the entire community. This is an event of extreme pride for everybody and deserving of thecommunity’s recognition and support.”