A new magical journey begins


Already ressurrecting myself from the exhaustion of keeping up with the breakneck pace of hopefuls trying to hang onto or get a sip from the cup of power afforded by municipal politics, I’m gearing up now for what to me is the better pursuit: the main stage at New York’s prestigious Carnegie Hall.

Main stage, Carnegie Hall

BEAUTIFUL, STORIED Carnegie Hall is calling. I’ll be there on March 29, performing as part of the Toronto-based Newchoir ensemble.

I have no personal interest in municipal politics. But as a journalist I’ve been compelled since campaign season opened in January to devote large blocks of time to chronicling the comings and goings of quite a large field of persons to whom it matters greatly, and also of those impacted by the characteristics some of the races have taken on. Pleasing some of the people some of the time is not a 9-to-5 pursuit. The clock does keep running well past closing time.

The streaking comet that is Oct. 27 cannot pass early enough. Looking back at the personal life allowed to lapse while my attention has been thus occupied, I note the number of performance opportunities of the artistic kind — my first love — having passed me by. I assure you, the votes will scarcely have been counted before I will have changed costume.

Performance is my calling when not engaged in journalistic efforts. Folksy vocal music, with or without a group, with poetry recitation solidly in the mix is my calling card. Due to the prominence of the identity chosen in youthful ignorance, however, my status as an onstage performer does not match the level of desire. Consider me a fractioned musician-poet then, because the glories come only in snatches and that persona is often shooed away out of deference to the senior one.

That said, my gnarled fingers are no stranger to the coattails of magic. So it did not come as all that big a surprise recently when a particularly fortuitous alignment of stars and fortunes, plus a harmonious agreement between my two public personas, landed me in the tenor section of the rocking and rolling Toronto-based ensemble newchoir.

Magic being what it is, this occurred just in time for me to join them on a … magical … journey that is leading to the Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall for a 2 p.m. concert on Sunday, March 29. Entitled “Total Vocal”, it is a contemporary a capella performance under the direction of arranger/conductor and producer Deke Sharon. It is part of the Distinguished Concerts International New York 2015 concert series.

Carnegie Hall is the ultimate stage for any performer. It has been beckoning for longer than I have known the taste of desire for it. And a bonus for me comes in the form of a surprise twist, one that serves as further evidence of the curious (and magical) way life goes about its business of completing circles: we will be joined onstage at one point by Vital Signs, an ensemble out of Elon University in the Piedmont area of North Carolina — a place where, once upon a time, I used to get around with up-and-coming gospel quartets.

Well played.

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