I was a participant in the chorus from its formation, as i was a student at M&A when Harold came to the school. I forget which class i had Harold for. I assumed he did some composing, since he talked about problems of dodecaphonic music.....i could have used more. But i never heard that he had a career as a composer. I knew that he was agin' aleatoric music, because when i saw him in the early 60s, he took one look at the score for my "Passionate Expanse of the Law" and said "Look at what they're writing now!"

The Renaissance Chorus was certainly important in opening my ears. For sure more relevant to a contemporary composer than the classics of the 18 & 19 centuries, however marvelous they might be. And at the time it was a revelation. My idiosynchratic tastes were even then forming----i liked, and still do, Ockeghem better than Josquin. The real revelation though was Perotin. (There's an argument that he was not "minimalist", but i think so. Can surely learn more from him than the likes of Phil, Steve, and Terry.)

When i came back to New York after military service in Korea (now there's a music turn-on for you) i participated in Harold's Carnegie Hall concert, playing tenor sackbut. By the way, what happened to a certain Joel, i think (Melz, Melzer?) who would take over the chorus on those many Saturday mornings when Harold could not drive in from his new job in (?) Pennsylvania. Got the chorus together at that time to give a concert in Tomkins Sq. Park. Of course i went----i was living on 9th Street. My surprise to hear myself called, "Is Philip Corner in the audience": Explanation: "just wondered if you'd be here". So i joined in. But not in his insistence on lighting up in the bandshell during intermission.....chorus members pleading "Don't do it." There was some disturbance from the locals too. But no bust.

Please pass on these good feelings to whoever might remember me. Ph.

Philip Corner
January 4, 2009