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November 22, 2014
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Celebrate, celebrate... dance to the music!

TRR photos by Jonathan Fox Ten-year-old Brett Dirie, of Hortonville, NY, was all decked out for the St. Patrick’s Day festivities in Jeffersonville, NY.


Heeding the advice of everyone within earshot, I soaked up some rays (yay, spring!) and looked at directions for the Lumberland Town Hall, which was hosting the Ithaca College Choir on Sunday, as the singers made Glen Spey, NY the fourth stop in their 2012 tour. Doing some homework before the concert, I discovered that the choir has performed major concerts at some pretty impressive venues over the years, including New York’s’ St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Alice Tully Hall, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Carnegie Hall.

The choir’s web site (www.Ithaca.edu/music) also informed me that “In addition to their a capella tradition, the choir has performed with the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, the Ithaca College Symphony Orchestra, Chamber orchestra, and wind ensemble, as well as other professional ensembles.” Suitably impressed, I took my seat with the rest of the sold-out crowd, many of whom were regulars for the Town of Lumberland’s (www.towno

flumberland.org) popular Cultural Series, founded in 1985, which “promotes a variety of fine programs including concerts of a professional nature that appeal to the residents of the Delaware Valley, the Tri-States and the local communities.”

Having attended college in Binghamton and grown up in the Finger Lakes, I was familiar with the Ithaca College Choir and aware of their stellar reputation. I was not, however, prepared to be struck dumb by the incredible performance that played out that afternoon, nor expecting the overwhelming wave of emotion that permeated the hall as the performers made a personal connection with each member of the audience.

Conductor Lawrence Doebler was equally emotional as he explained what was about to transpire: “We want you, the audience, to be involved in the text. You may not want to consult your program during the performance, since the choir will be looking at you... and we encourage you to look back.”

Unsure as to what he meant, I quickly glanced at the notes for the choirs’ 34th annual tour, aptly titled “Get on Board,” as the 50 or so members entered (to pre-show thunderous applause) in their formal gowns and tuxedoes. Their gorgeous-to-a-fault faces were shining as the singers took their places, angled toward the crowd to allow maximum eye contact and a hush fell over the hall as their voices filled the space.