New York Visit - 16th to 24th January 2020


23 members of Sittingbourne Orpheus Choral Society travelled to New York, accompanied by 13 friends and family members to sing “The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace” at the prestigious Carnegie Hall, to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the work.

The Sittingbourne choir was joined by choirs from around the world totalling 275 singers, who performed under the baton of Dr Jonathan Griffith, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor for Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY), the concert organisers and promoters.

These combined singers form the backbone of DCINY, the city’s preeminent producer of choral and orchestral concerts in New York’s most prestigious concert venues. All singers and/or ensembles go through an audition process reviewed by DCINY Artistic team in order to receive an invitation to appear on the DCINY concert series.

Sittingbourne’s involvement was facilitated by the Society’s Vice Chairman Brian Jemmett who not only coordinated the singers attendance but assisted in getting the entire party of 36 individuals to New York and back.

Sir Karl Jenkins was present at the rehearsals and the performance and joined in a question and answer session at both, signed member’s vocal scores and posed with choirs for photographs. A 2011 global survey showed that he is now the most performed living composer in the world and since 2004 he has consistently been the highest placed living composer in Classic FM’s Hall of Fame.

Sir Karl was raised in Wales and read music at University of Wales and the Royal Academy of Music, London. His style and integrity have transcended musical boundaries encompassing jazz-rock, the global crossover phenomenon Adiemus as well as more traditional classics, resulting in 17 gold and platinum discs. He was awarded a CBE in 2010 and a knighthood in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

This entire event amounted to an unforgettable experience for some very fortunate local singers.