In November 2018 a motley group from Lauderdale Community Choir set off for the Big Apple to sing in the Carnegie Hall, no less! We had to raise our game! Our designated ‘leader’, Emma, had undertaken a huge amount of organisation and liaison with DCINY* in order to get us to this point. We were sad that James could not be with us but his learning lines had proved invaluable during the previous weeks, when we had bonded as a group by rehearsing every week in each others’ homes.

Our time in NYC provided an incredible and unifying experience, and we each have memories that highlight just what this meant for us. The quotations below reflect the emotional impact, the feeling of commitment, the enhanced confidence, the group identity and (last but not least) the fun we enjoyed!

Emotional impact

“Being surrounded by soaring sopranos was so uplifting!”

“Friday was the first mass rehearsal – and I couldn’t believe how emotional I found all of this. Something about all of these people from across the globe with a common purpose was extremely moving. Spent a lot of the rehearsal in tears, and feeling really privileged to be taught by this composer who is not only musically brilliant but is a gifted communicator.”


“Back in September / October we were trying to get to grips with the music – and there was a very powerful sense of us pulling together to do our very best for James, who could not now be part of the journey.”

“There was no doubting the commitment of my fellow travellers; it felt like we were indeed all prepared to “pull out all of the stops”, to sing to the best of our ability (and maybe also to be good ambassadors for Lauderdale Community Choir, and Scotland!).”


“What made it for me, as a tenor, was being able to sing in such a large group of other tenors!”

“This experience was a huge confidence booster as I never thought I could be that brave!”

“Rehearsals were challenging but very inspiring – do we really sound this good?”

The group

“September and October – rehearsals had continued in each others’ homes, really getting to know and like this group, with much fun and laughter as we decide on our concert attire!”

“Over and above the overwhelming thrill of singing Paul Mealor’s Mass, ‘Souls of the Righteous’, in the Carnegie Hall on the 100th anniversary of WW1, I now have a group of fabulous ‘soul mates’.”

“Despite us being a very diverse group with many differing personalities, there was a massive amount of mutual respect from start to finish.”

“I felt very close to my new pals.”


“We really made the most of ‘free time’, enjoying all sorts of pursuits including theatre trips, cocktails and of course…shopping!”


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