It’s up to you, New York, New York!

It’s hard to believe that we open our New York concerts in under two weeks! I am filled with so much excitement – what was merely a vision is actually being brought to life.

One of the main facets of my vision for Patchwork Project was finding a musical home, not just for me, but for our collaborators and our audiences. It is not by accident that we are performing all American music. These concerts are a celebration of our heritage and a statement about the possibilities that lie ahead for our great country, no matter how dismal and disheartening the current state of affairs may seem.

For this reason it is very meaningful to me that we would begin our tour in my home, New York State. Anything and everything that I believe about music was born out of New York being my home – from the proximity to the Metropolitan Opera to the proximity to many of the composers whose music we will be singing. What we can offer in return is to give back to a place by which we have been given so much. Our first concert in New York will be at Andrus on Hudson, a nursing home in my hometown of Hastings. Andrus has always been very nurturing of local artists and it is special to be able to bring what we have there for the residents. It is my way of saying thank you to Hastings for always supporting my musical development. Would that the worldwide musical home that I find as my career furthers be as lovely as the one I came from in Hastings.

After our concert in Hastings we head to the Big Apple to perform at the National Opera Center, a place that for many a young singer often seems like a daunting representation of auditions and competitions. Back when we were Eastman students, Kendra and I used to take many a weekend trip down to NYC for 2-3 Young Artist auditions at a time. These trips punctuated our musical lives and forced us to put our Eastman education to work. These trips were yet another example of us searching for our musical home. On our Monday night performance in Marc A. Scorca Hall we are looking to take a step away from all that. We will be premiering a beautiful piece written for us by Pamela Stein Lynde, a fellow graduate of Westminster Choir College and ALSO a former student of my beloved teacher, Sharon Sweet. There is something so invigorating about singing Pamela’s piece, which allows us to create something entirely new and invite our audience to expand their perception of classical vocal music. We have the opportunity to share everything we have developed over the years, from school to professional life. We hope to transform the room from a place where singers and musicians are constantly asking for permission (whether it be acceptance to a program or being hired by a major opera company) to a place where we celebrate our home – American singers, American composers, and a New York recital hall.

As these concerts approach I am also filled with so much gratitude for all the people who share in our excitement, whether this be through a donation, buying a ticket to one of our concerts, or e-mails of encouragement and support. This, our Patchwork Project, has already become bigger than us. It’s about you. We are finally ready to share the meat of the project – the music! New Yorkers, join us, and hopefully you, too, can find a new expressive home right along with us.

Concerts are:

Saturday July 23 at 3 PM

Andrus on Hudson, 185 Old Broadway, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706

$10 Suggested Donation

 

Monday July 25 at 7:30 PM

Marc A. Scorca Hall

The National Opera Center, 330 Seventh Ave (7th floor), New York, NY 10001

$15 Tickets, purchased at http://patchworknyc.brownpapertickets.com