We sang our hearts out at Carnegie Hall

When Welsh composer Paul Mealor invited the Cheshire Fire Choir over to New York to sing his world premiere piece of music, he must have had immense confidence in us.

Firstly he wanted us to sing the song in Latin and secondly it was at the world famous concert venue, Carnegie Hall. We thought we were out of our depth but, as a group of people who don't give up that easy and have a determined disposition, we gave it our all.

We found out that the other choirs from the 18 ensembles from across the world had to audition for the "gig". We had been invited! You see, we'd performed one of the pieces that Paul had written for the TV competition "Sing While You Work" so he knew what we could do. It was just us that had doubts.

What a night at Carnegie Hall !

Last night was the culmination of 6 months of hard work for the choir and what a night it was.  Carnegie Hall has strict rules for all of its concerts so, following their protocol, we arrived at the stage door at our allotted time. We were dressed in our finery and the firefighters amongst us wore their medals proudly.

It was a full house and, as we went on stage, the realisation of what we were about to do dawned on us.  We could see Paul Mealor sitting at the back of the auditorium and we knew we couldn't let him down, but, more importantly, we couldn't let ourselves or Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service down.

We followed conductor James Jordon's every move and sang from the deepest and loudest range to the quietest transpose imaginable, and we sang from our hearts. This was truly an amazing piece and so sentimental that we had tears of both joy and sadness at the end.

We were given a standing ovation for our performance of Stabat Mater and the world premiere of Jubilate, which also brought the audience to its feet.  We did it!

We'd like to thank, in true theatre style, our Musical Director Ruairi Edwards who has taken us from a group of people who sang quite well together to a choir that can hold its own in a very professional arena, Paul Mealor for inviting us to perform his music, our conductor for guiding us through the piece perfectly, Cheshire Fire Authority for allowing us to represent the Service through song,  supporters and sponsors back home in the UK and our family and friends who have been there for us for the last six months. We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. 

Final appearance in New York will be at the 9/11 Memorial

Our final appearance in New York is performing at the 9/11 Memorial where we will sing Bruce Springsteen's The Rising.  This will fulfil a dream that we originally had when we started singing in 2012, to sing for our fallen colleagues of 9/11.

We never thought the day would come when we could sing our signature song at Ground Zero.

Last updated: Tuesday 23 February 2016

Related images

Ready to go on stage at Carnegie HallThe choir at Carnegie Hall


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Comment from:

Comment: Lichfield.24th February 2016.You sang as the true dedicated professionals and lifesavers that you are. The emotion of both occasions in New York was at times overwhelming and I feel so very honoured to have experienced the aura which you created. I also consider that your singing, the interpretation and the absolute commitment to the message and measure of the songs and the symbolism of both events was outstanding and matched to perfection the high quality demanded in such awe-inspiring locations. The audience at the Carnegie were riveted. At Ground Zero despite the deluge, the emotion and feeling for yours and our fellows spilled over at the end, I think we were all in tears.I missed your singing at station 10, that was no doubt a very personal and intimate gesture of world-wide colleague-ship of which the Fire Brigade service of Great Britain should be immensely proud. I am glad that you have been supported by all who work with you.I am of course slightly biased being Ruairi's dad but someone has to do that job!Well done Cheshire Fire Brigade. You're all invited to Lichfield.

Date left: 24/02/2016 16:28:54

Comment from: Connie Cee

Comment: Very very proud of you all, what a fantastic event and so wished I had been there. Well done and hope this will be available for us all to listen to back in Cheshire!

Date left: 24/02/2016 18:31:07


Last updated: Monday, 6 March 2023