Thursday morning, the choristers arrived at the Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital at 9am. The performance here was the most emotionally charged performance the choristers experienced. Despite the brevity of the performance (only about thirty minutes,) each and every piece reached a new level of self-expression, emotion, and connection with the audience. Sitting in the audience were two sick children with their families among a crowd of doctors and staff. Also in attendance was Dr. Harold Paz, Senior Vice President for Health Affairs for Penn State University, Dean of the College of Medicine, and CEO of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Health System. Seeing these children in the audience grabbed the hearts of our choristers. Following the performance a music therapist talked to the choristers and thanked them for what they would be providing to all the sick children of the hospital, many with cancer, rare diseases, and disabilities who frequented the facility. The performance was recorded and will be broadcasted on every TV in the hospital frequently. Knowing the impact their singing will have, some choristers, staff and even audience shed a few tears. YPC Erie will hopefully brighten the days of some of these children through the heartfelt music they delivered.
Yesterday evening, we gave an excellent performance at the Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, DC. The sanctuary was gorgeous and the acoustics were ideal. All choruses performed wonderfully, but the Young Men’s Chorus gave one of their top performances to date!
The choruses both participated in master classes with other conductors yesterday before the performance. The Young Men’s Chorus was honored to have Frank Albinder of the Washington Men’s Camerata offer different perspectives on their program. The young men absorbed every word and acted and performed like seasoned professionals. The Concert Chorus worked with Dr. Cheryl Branham, music director of Calvary Baptist Church, and long time friend of Dr. Bishop. The chorus worked on skill building and site reading and even dove right into parts of Mendelssohn’s Elijah!
Today, the choristers visited the Botanical Garden and toured the National Capitol. Following our tour, we got to perform outside Congressman Mike Kelly’s office! Staff members of Representative Dan Benishek (Michigan) and Representiave Austin Scott (Georgia) also came out to hear the performance. Tonight, the choristers will be visiting national monuments and sites of Washington, DC with their chaperones, an evening all are looking forward to!
Tomorrow, we leave for Philadelphia!