Holding a special program to honor those lost on Sept. 11 and the sacrifices made since the tragedy might seem a bit out of place nearly two weeks after the anniversary.
But Nell MacDonald, artistic director for Sing We Enchanted, the Ossining-based a cappella ensemble that performs programs consisting of Renaissance repertoire, American classics and holiday favorites to help raise money for various charities, didn’t want an event that competed for attention with other scheduled commemorations.
MacDonald reached out to Andrea Garbarini, a Pleasantville resident and 9/11 widow who produced last year’s documentary “From the Ground Up” to help present “Singing Down Memory Lane: Songs of Nostalgia & Remembrance” this Saturday at Pleasantville Presbyterian Church in tribute to the 11th anniversary of Sept. 11. Garbarini’s husband, Charley, was a New York City Fire Department lieutenant.
MacDonald said the screening of Garbarini’s film, which traced the stories of several widows of New York City firefighters who died on 9/11 and how they overcame their grief by leaning on each other and helping others through various projects, will be combined with a music program that includes James Stepleton’s 9/11 tribute. The group will also sing American classics of Randall Thompson and Aaron Copland, as well as movie soundtrack selections from “O Brother Where Art Thou?” Arrangements from Gershwin and Henry Mancini, among others, will help round out the afternoon.
“It’s just emblematic of American music and American spirit,” MacDonald said. “This is who we are.”
All proceeds from the event will be donated to Tuesday’s Children, a non-profit organization that provides support services to victims of terrorism worldwide.
Garbarini, who will deliver the program’s opening remarks, said the process of making the documentary has helped her and others realize that good can result from the worst events.
“People realize that in a tragedy they can find peace and that there is light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.
In the year since the film’s release and original airing on PBS, “From the Ground Up” has received accolades at a wide range of film festivals. Garbarini was also invited by New York City Fire Department brass to show the film on Sept. 10 to department staff and EMS personnel.
For the past 19 years, Sing We Enchanted has performed throughout the metropolitan area in a variety of venues. MacDonald said the emphasis is on raising money for charities.
“We do a lot of concerts for causes,” she said. “That’s really from a big part of our mission statement.”
The program is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the door with a suggested donation of $20. There will be a reception following the concert.
The Pleasantville Presbyterian Church is located at 400 Bedford Rd. in Pleasantville. For further information, call 914-610-6701, visit www.singweenchanted.org or e-mail email@example.com.
Martin has more than 30 years experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, including a frequent focus on zoning and planning issues. He has been editor-in-chief of The Examiner since its inception in 2007. Read more from Martin’s editor-author bio here. Read Martin’s archived work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/martin-wilbur2007/