Standing ovations for the Junge Chor Speyer's first US concert in NYC

They could not have had a better opening concert. The 23 singers of the "Junge Chor Speyer" directed by Marie Theres Brand performed to a full house in New York City on March 26, 2008 in beautiful St. Matthias R.C. church. The program of sacred and secular works titled "Mozart & Friends" received several minute-long applauses and the choir was rewarded with standing ovations from almost everyone attending when the concert concluded. Especially the selection of German folk songs were true crowd pleaser: "Kein schoener Land" was requested as an encore and became particularly moving when many of the German-speaking guests sang along during that repeat performance. Mozart's "Sancta Maria" - accompanied by the string-quartet traveling with the choir - was also performed twice.

Between 400 and 500 people from all over the Big Apple attended their very first concert on US soil, some even came all the way from New Jersey and Connecticut as the performance hosted by St. Matthias and co-organized by Incantato Tours & Concert Management had been advertised all over the Tri-State area and highlighted as a special event in the media and various official information outlets like the German consulate's website. Director Marie Theres Brand and her singers were very moved by the warm reception and positive feedback they received from the audience and also their hosts.

Msgr. Ed Scharfenberger of St. Matthias who had spontaneously welcomed the choir from Speyer into his parish when approached only a few months ago commented on the event in an email shortly after the concert: "The Junger Chor was a true and timely gift to our community. You could see the expression on the faces of the people who attended ��� how happy they were. I heard so many people comment about how uplifting it was to see and hear so many young people come together to make such beautiful music. But it was even more than the music. It was the sense of HOPE that their presence gave to the people who are not always given an opportunity to see the results of good leadership, youthful goodness and enthusiasm and ��� let���s face it, love and discipline ��� all come together. The many connections that were made will only deepen the impression made. This was a wonderful event that will always be a treasured memory of our parish."

The choir continues to Ohio and Illinois were additional formal and informal concerts are scheduled. They return to Germany on April 3, 2008.