Last night’s YMCA concert was west of Dublin city. A large poster outside the youth center had been announcing the arrival of our “American Gospel Choir” for several weeks. A rather informal evening, we sang to an audience of local youth, families, and church goers. The venue and the audience allowed us to collaborate with audience members for a more informal evening. We began our concert with first soprano Wendi leading the audience in a few Oasis warm up exercises. At intermission, Wendell met Maureen, who sings with a Gospel choir in Dublin, and she collaborated with us on an impromptu “There is a Balm in Gilead.” A young boy in the front row asked if we knew “O Happy Day” (he apparently had seen the movie “Sister Act”), and, led by Janice, we fulfilled his request. It was a happy night of music making, finished off by tea and buns, and many happy conversations with our friendly audience. We continue to be enchanted by the warmth and friendliness of the Irish people and the beauty of their island country.

Esther Swartzentruber

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