Some time ago, I was invited to sing with the Highbridge Voices, an incredible organization. I had heard about it for a long time as I live in Little Italy and the community around Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Mott Street is very supportive of the program. There is still a culture in my neighborhood of people sitting on steps and in local cafés (or on beach chairs parked on the cement sidewalk!) and talking about the events going on at church and in the area. My work with Bowery Babes ties me in to local interests like parks and gardens and development issues. I hear about things and always aim to help. Not long ago, Alec Baldwin got married at Old St. Patrick’s and has since lent his popularity to support a few local events like an Italian American historical plaque that went up, and a wonderful organization Highbridge Voices. (I’m sure there are many more.) Alec and I have been friends for over 20 years and recently we came together to support this musical program.
Highbridge Voices is based in the Bronx, New York. Their mission is “Inspiring excellence in the lives of the children of the Highbridge community through their participation in music”
Highbridge Voices is an extended-day music and academic program designed to inspire excellence in the lives of children. Founded in 1998, the organization serves the Highbridge neighborhood of the South Bronx, historically part of one of the most impoverished Congressional districts in the United States. Using a rigorous choral experience as a springboard, Highbridge Voices fosters a sense of pride and accomplishment in the youth of the community through high-quality musical experiences, academic support and enrichment, and a foundation of values geared to prepare each child for success in grade school, college, and life. –highbridgevoices.org
So this June, all our planning came together and I performed with the kids at a sold-out Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center in New York. It was truly an awesome evening. The repertoire was all Beatles music: “Here Comes The Sun,” “When I’m 64,” etc. Their arrangements – and staging – were terrific. You can watch our “Here Comes The Sun” on YouTube.
And the singing was beautiful!!! The children were so well rehearsed and so charming, so grateful and so excited! I was honored to sing with them and I hope I will be able to continue to do so! Alec also seemed very inspired. Turns out he was too shy to sing with us, but I’ll get him next time!!!
I hope you’ll enjoy this photo blog of the memorable moments of my experience of that evening. Better yet, come hear them sing!!! Their next big performance is September 23 at the Metropolitan Club in New York. For more info, visit highbridgevoices.org.
All photography by Avi Gerver.