Meet a Chorister -
Why did you join? George attended a GCS concert in Christ Church that a surgeon friend was singing in. Afterwards, his friend was in tears, so moved by the music that George said to himself, “I want to experience that.”
When did you start singing? George, who just celebrated his 98th birthday, remembers his grandmother retiring to the piano after dinner to lead the family in song. George’s “Danny Boy” could bring them all to tears. At twelve, boy soprano George sang the English hunting song “D'ye Ken John Peel” at Carnegie Hall. He continued his singing career at Harvard, as a freshman performing in a concert with the Boston Symphony at Symphony Hall.
How do you listen to music? George tells Alexa what he wants to her to play, usually a mix of contemporary and classical composers.
Where have you sung? George has sung with the Berkshire Choral Festival many times in France, Austria, and Scotland. But a very different concert stands out: he sang the Verdi Requiem in the concentration camp at Terezín, with the president of the Czech Republic in the audience. In 1944, prisoners with only a single smuggled score performed the oratorio sixteen times, once for a propaganda film before senior SS officials and an International Red Cross delegation. To the accompaniment of a wretched piano simulating the one in the camp, George sang in Defiant Requiem, a program commemorating those concerts.