Exclusive: The choir who came in from the cold (for Joyce DiDonato)

Exclusive: The choir who came in from the cold (for Joyce DiDonato)


norman lebrecht

April 02, 2014

The diva was in  Princeton last week when she heard there was a choir outside, waiting in bitter cold to sing to her. So she asked them in, picked up the camera and filmed her visitors, tears of gratitude streaking her cheeks. Here’s the video she’s sent us and (below) the reason she cried.

What a beautiful, surprising, lovely gesture from the gorgeous choir members of Westminster Choir College. They waited (out in the cold!) after my recital in Princeton to “thank me” in song. I cannot describe how touching it was to see these beautiful faces singing in such a heartfelt manner.

The funny thing? This was me, xx years ago … I was the one tearing up at the power of song and the immense connection that occurred singing in a choir with my dearest of friends. I am so uplifted and hopeful seeing how this tradition continues.

Thank you so much for your gorgeous gift!!




  • There would be no hope for anyone who listened to this performance with dry eyes. Peter Lutkin’s setting of the Aaronic Blessing would make a stone weep! It is an absolute gem of the highest inspiration. I was the recipient of a similar performance in Michigan, and it is one of my most treasured memories of the USA. (http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/ihas/loc.natlib.ihas.200185357/default.html)

  • RalphW says:

    No wonder she cried, that was beautiful !

  • Wonderful, and restores the knowledge of the power of what our beautiful Art can do. Moving and stirring us to tears with its gesture of thanks in this generous way.

  • DavidC says:

    For those who have chosen a life in music, sometimes the daily struggles, sacrifices and hard work can lead us to forget why we chose this path in the first place. But then, thankfully, there are moments like this – so simple, pure and heartfelt – when we immediately remember, “Oh, yeah, that’s why.”

  • Kay Kline says:

    A beautiful and moving tribute to a truly wonderful singer and lady – a blessing for us a.. Thank you, Joyce for sharing with us. Such a generous and loving spirit!

  • Janine says:

    They sang with their whole heart, these lovely young people. And they were so happy!

  • Alicia says:

    I’m a 2004 Westminster alumni and singing or hearing this arrangement always me teary, especially as it reminds me of the morning of Sept 11, 2001 when the entire school gathered to sing it together while the shock of the day was still setting in. So proud to have the Lutkin as our school song. 🙂

  • Melisande says:

    When one can reach the heart and be thanked in this wonderful equal way, then the world has become a better place to live in.

  • carole burkhardt says:

    my alma mater…. this IS our song. And it still gives me gooseflesh just hearing it.

  • Darlene man says:

    I love Joyce DiDonato and I love these beautiful young people. Well done!!!

  • Susan Graham says:

    This is such a beautiful thing- And I’m sure their hearts were full having just heard Joyce! I sang in my hometown a few months ago, and the choir from my high school sang this same song to me afterwards!! It’s a tearful moment, to be sure.