New York, NY — On April 4th, 2014 The New York Pops performed a great program under the title: “Lights, Camera, Action: A Night in Hollywood”. The concert venue: Stern Auditorium, Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall.
The Program included memorable musical moments from The Wizard of Oz, celebrating the beloved classic’s 75th anniversary, Marvin at The Movies, the music from the Body of Work of the late Marvin Hamlisch (Sophie’s Choice, Ice Castles, The Way We Were, The Sting). The evening also included selections from some of today’s most popular cinema scores: The Dark Knight, Forrest Gump, Pirates of the Caribbean, and others.
During the salute to Marvin Hamlisch, the members of Essential Voices USA under the direction of Judith Clurman, performed an amazing rendition of one of Marvin Hamlisch’s best known songs for Broadway: “What I Did For Love” (From the Musical A Chorus Line)
The guest artists:
The New York Pops
Steven Reineke, Music Director and Conductor
Essential Voices USA
Judith Clurman, Music Director and Conductor
Thanks to the New York Pops and Steven Reineke. To Pianist Lee Musiker for his piano performance during the segment “Marvin at The Movies.” To Essential Voices USA and Judith Clurman.
Thanks to Judy Clurman and Essential Voices USA for the following remarks:
From Conductor Judith Clurman
April 4, 1997
I prepared my Project Youth Chorus for Marvin to conduct, in his ANATOMY OF PEACE performance, at Carnegie Hall, with The New York Pops.
April 4, 2014
My volunteer members of my Essential Voices USA performed WHAT I DID FOR LOVE, as part of a tribute to Marvin at Carnegie Hall. (I aadapted the solo song for chorus for this performance). The tribute was part of the concert called Lights, Camera, Action: A Night in Hollywood with the New York Pops.
Terre Blair Hamlisch, unable to attend the evening’s performance, was able to listen the song by phone before the concert began. (I wanted my chorus to sing the song for her.) They did a beautiful job, as did Jeremy Lyons at the keyboard. Terre was excited to hear the 75 singers sing. (Amongst the members were some high school students from the Edward R. Murrow High School, in Brooklyn New York.)
Thank you note from Terre Blair to Judy Clurman and Essential Voices USA:
“This was one of the most moving moments of my life when Judy Clurman’s choir sang ” What I did for Love ” before their performance at Carnegie Hall! It was exquisite!
I could feel Marvin in their voices!
Thank you Judy for your outstanding work and to your Essential Voices USA — to everyone of you! It was thrilling!
Terre Blair — Hamlisch
A few words from several chorus members:
Shoshana Greenberg wrote:
“I grew up singing A Chorus Line around the house–I used to ‘dance around the living room.’ I never imagined that one day I would sing ‘What I Did For Love’ on the stage at Carnegie Hall let alone for Terre Blair Hamlisch before the show. She told us to sing the song tonight for Marvin, that he would be watching us from the balcony. As we performed the song, I looked up at that balcony, and even though I couldn’t see Marvin I knew we were singing for him. To have that connection while performing was a thrilling and moving experience.”
Kaytie O’Hara wrote:
“Calling Terre was the best thing EVER! Did you see all of those tears? We were so happy and honored”
Jessica Shafer wrote:
Everyone knows and loves the music of the award winning composer Marvin Hamlisch. On Friday, April 4th Essential Voices USA under the direction of Judith Clurman had the privilege of remembering and celebrating his legacy in “Lights, Camera, Action: A Night in Hollywood” at Carnegie Hall. This performance lead by the NY Pops Orchestra payed tribute to the film music of Marvin Hamlisch. Essential Voices USA ended the tribute by performing one of his most meaningful and notable compositions, “What I did For Love” from A Chorus Line.
It was an honor not only to be able to sing this beloved piece in the concert, but to also be able to learn it as a choral adaptation by Judy and make it unique and meaningful amongst a choir. In rehearsals we really tuned in on the meaning of the song and the lyrics by allowing it to grow as the piece went on. We began the song in unison and added a counter-melody to create more texture and beauty and highlight the differences between the two. Ending this piece coming together in unison on the final chorus was breathtaking and I can assure you that there was not a dry eye in the house on those final words, “What I did For Love.” It was a true highlight to the concert overall.
One of the most meaningful moments for both Essential Voices USA and our director Judith Clurman came moments before we took the stage. Our director surprised the choir by calling Terre Hamlisch personally which left us all speechless as she was incredibly grateful and excited for us and our performance. Not only we were able to speak with Terre Hamlisch, but we had the pleasure of singing our arrangement of What I did For Love for her which was a blessing. Her overall joy and appreciation is something we will be forever grateful for.
We are so appreciative of Marvin Hamlisch and I could not think of a better way to pay tribute to him. It was beautiful evening of music and celebration at Carnegie Hall.