Susan Savel, Katherine Pryor, and I went to the Glass Menagerie concert on 12/12. This is Richard's Greenwich Village community chorus, conducted by our mutual friend Susan Glass (hence the name). I've sung with them many, many times - - this is how Richard and I met. I was singing in Cerddorion with Susan and she hired me to sing with The Glass Menage. And the rest is history. I didn't sing this concert, and it was a treat to sit in the audience.
They opened with the Haydn *Te Deum*. It took them a few seconds to find their groove, but once they did, it was smooth sailing. Is that a mixed metaphor? The performance had brio, the chorus sounded very good. The organist, Joshua Mauldin, was killer. The brass ensemble was marvelous, they really gave a sense of occasion to the concert. I was impressed by how well the chorus sang the florid passages (the parts with lots of fast little notes). And they had a smart sense of who was singing the lead and who was singing backup. An old conductor of mine put it this way: are you Gladys Knight? Or are you one of The Pips? The Glass Menagerie always knew.
The next piece was the Rutter *Gloria*. It's an exciting piece and the writing for the brass is masterful, but parts of this piece reek of "TV theme song". It's a hit show, to be sure, but still. Mauldin outdid himself in the second movement, he played with such elegance. Bravo to the tenors for their solid entrance with the weirdo theme. The altos didn't sound so convinced when it was their turn. The 7/8 section had a nice swing. This is a difficult, tricky piece, and the chorus did an admirable job.
The second half consisted of various short pieces, some with John Kolody at the piano, always a pro. John conducted the chorus in his brilliant arrangement of Tom Lehrer's "Hannukah in Santa Monica", such a gas.
They ended the concert with a sing-along of holiday songs. I'm sure for many people in the audience, this is their one chance to sing these songs each year, which makes it meaningful. The chorus capped off the evening with the Hallelujah chorus, and they sounded glorious. A delightful concert all around.