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September 15, 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.


Immediately, it became clear that this was to be no ordinary concert. Doeblers’ words echoed in my mind as I scanned the group and the audience simultaneously. True to the conductors’ word, the kids were looking directly at us, holding their dramatic gaze before moving on, their voices swelling to crescendo before dropping to melodious whispers as they performed an eclectic program, which included Sally Lamb McCunes’ “Crossing,” Vincent Persichettis’ “Kyrie,” Frank Martins’ “Gloria” alongside traditional African-American spirituals.

Amazing vocal control and impeccable arrangements were enhanced by stunning solo turns from Alto Adiza Jibril, bass Stephen Wilkins, first soprano Sarah Jenkins and incandescent star-in-the-making soprano Ana Strachan, whose name will be lighting up opera marquees around the world, mark my words. There are not enough superlatives to make my point. Suffice it to say that the goose bumps remained throughout my ride home and I’m already making plans for their exciting appearance at Lincoln Center next year, while searching the internet for recordings that must surely exist.

While unable to sing along (unless completely alone!), I join the legions of fans of the Ithaca College Choir as I celebrate, celebrate... and dance to the music!