9/11: Sunday in New York City

September 17, 2011 at 12:55 pm Leave a comment


Early Morning in New York City

I was grateful to be home in NYC for the anniversary of September 11th.  I didn’t plan it that way.  Most Sundays find me singing in Boston.  On this particular Sunday, however, I was home for a few weeks of working on my new CD project.

Seth Godin

Sunday, September 11th was a beautiful day of reflection, remembrance and connection.  The day began with early morning readings on 9/11.  I read a beautiful blog post by Seth Godin.  Be sure to check out this insightful article:  “It’s Different Here.”

Peter Link

Then I read Peter Link’s profoundly moving blog post on 9/11.  Enjoy his inspiring and healing view point in “Remembering”

Next, my eyes landed on a piece of sheet music on my desk.  The song was Duke Ellington’s “Come Sunday.”  The lyrics were a PERFECT prayer to set out on this day of remembrance.  And there was no choice but to listen to the great Mahalia Jackson sing this song on the Duke Ellington Black Brown and Beige album.  It is transcendent.  Listen here.  View the lyrics here.

Finally, as a contribution to this 10th anniversary of 9/11, I posted to Facebook and Twitter a free download of my recording of Peter Link’s “In Silence” from watchfiremusic.com.  It is a tribute and comforting song to anyone who has felt the loss of a loved one and who mourns.  Please get your free download of “In Silence” here.

Then the day really got rolling! 

First, it was time for church.  It was a treat to attend church at home in NYC at Third Church of Christ, Scientist.  During the service, the soloist, New York soprano Jenny Lynn Stewart sang magnificently of the faith that is “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  Jenny Lynn and organist Tom Williams really set the tone for me with their offering of “Faith” by Burton Lawrence.

Right after church, I set off on foot with a gaggle of girlfriends and we walked uptown on the Upper East Side in the direction of a sweet inspirational concert given by Eighth Church of Christ, Scientist.

We stopped off at a little hole-in-the-wall pizza joint for cheese slices and soda.  It doesn’t get much more New York than that, and the pizza was fantastic!

Soon, we were at the gates of Eight Church’s beautiful garden where the outdoor concert was being held in honor of 9/11.  It was called “Love and Brotherhood” – a free event featuring the soprano Osceola Davis, accompanied by the jazz pianist Dotti Anita Taylor, singer/songwriter Rebecca Minor, NYU guitar major Peter Wise, and The Robbyn Tongue Band.

The Performers: Dotti Anita Taylor, Osceola Davis, Rebecca Minor, Peter Wise, Robbyn Tongue, Patrick Reid, Danny Wolf

These folks sang and played with heart and soul and a profound need to bring healing music to a healing city.  And they did.  Ten years later, the wounds are still deeply felt by many.  But the performers gave us all a chance to sit outside among restful green trees and beautiful flowers, reflecting, remembering and meditating with their musical offerings.

My favorite aspect of the concert was this:  The sounds of the singers and the band poured out onto the street, echoing off the canyon of walls framing three sides of the garden.  Passing neighbors and strangers all stopped midstep to give pause and soak in some inspiration along with the seated audience.

The wonderful Osceola Davis sang several gorgeous pieces from her Climbing High Mountains CD.  I especially loved her “Peter Ring ‘Dem Bells” and her signature piece, “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands.”  Where does this girl get her high notes? She lives and breathes up there in those lofty realms!

Dotti, Osceola, Rebecca

Rebecca Minor gave the gift of singing three of her own original songs that were perfect prayers of comfort and healing.  The band backed her up to great effect. “Love Yourself Too” is a special favorite.  View the lyrics here.

Newcomer Peter Wise, played an oh-so-sweet medley of “Amazing Grace” with “What A Wonderful World” on his electric guitar.  There were quiet smiles of appreciation. It’s going to be really fun to follow this very talented NYU sophomore guitar major through his musical journey!

Jazz saxophonist Robbyn Tongue gave us his special rendition of “Danny Boy” with his band.  The audience loved Robbyn’s arrangement and fresh chord progressions of this beloved tune.

The audience filled the garden to capacity and spilled out onto the street.  It was an inspiring event.

The music and the day continued…

The Boyds for Praise Company

After the concert, a friend and I walked through Central Park back to the west side, and we heard many more sounds of harmony filling the air.  Most notable was our discovery of the Boyds for Praise Company – a family choir filling the air with their worship music, accompanied by cello and bass.  The singers ranged from about age 9 and up!  You can find them most weekends under the portico by the Bethesda Fountain singing songs like “Joy Bells Keep Ringing In My Soul” and “Joy In The Morning Light.”

After I bade my friend farewell, I shopped at Trader Joe’s on 72nd and Broadway — it was right there as I came out of the Park at 72nd  Street.  This is not as mundane as it may seem.  To get to a Trader Joe’s in my world usually takes all kinds of planning and subways, and time.  So, to find myself right there, was exciting indeed!

In New York City, you buy what you can carry, so I loaded up with a couple of heavy bags of groceries and caught a cab.

As I sped back down to my own neighborhood, I felt such gratitude for the day and its healing truths shared in songs, prayers, sermons, sights, sounds and scenes.  I was especially grateful for all of the wonderful people passing me by, just going about their lives in colorful relief against the backdrop of a cloudy sky on a day almost done, and a city and a nation endeavoring to remember well.

It was 9/11, and it was Sunday in New York City.


New York City Sunset


More pics from the day!

Julia Wade with the performers: Dotti Anita Taylor, Osceola Davis, Rebecca Minor, Peter Wise, Robbyn Tongue, Patrick Reid, Danny Wolf

Julia Wade and Peter Wise

Bethesda Fountain at Central Park


Entry filed under: Inspiration, Inspirational Music, Inspirational Poetry, Inspirational Sheet Music, Inspiratus, Inspiring Sites, Performance, Spiritual Thinkers. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

On Memorization – Part 1 Julia Wade Interview on the Bill Russo Show

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