I felt like the guest of honor at a party called the Big Apple when I recently traveled to New York City to attend A Melancholy Beauty. This world premiere, conducted by ICC founder and artistic director Henry Leck, recently had its third and final performance at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center.
I had been to the city before, but never with the luxury of time to really soak it in. It reminded me how important traveling is to the experience singers have with the Indianapolis Children's Choir.
Touring can be quite enlightening. On my three day visit, I found New Yorkers to be so helpful and engaging that I wondered where their abrasive demeanor comes from. I learned the black, unmarked taxi cabs were a little sketchy. I saw so many New Yorkers with dogs & cats in pet strollers I had to mentally applaud the person who was making money from that idea.
I cannot imagine what it was like nearly 10 years ago on September 11, but I felt an immense amount of pride that this great American city had the tenacity to prevail.
The singers who were on tour experienced all this and more. They stood in one of the greatest venues in America and sang in a piece that was such a big collaboration it prompted the house manager to say, "I've never seen this many people on stage!" They shared a common history with ICC alumni they ran into along their travels: Laura Crockett and Ben Markham in Boston to name a few.
The world is a big place. We are fortunate that years ago, Henry Leck wanted to show it to his singers. As a parent myself, I've often felt the angst of wondering where that sweet spot was between holding a hand too tight and letting go. In a way unlike any organization, the Indianapolis Children's Choir makes that transition a little smoother.