The Music and Art High School Senior Orchestra room was a noisy place. One day after orchestra class, I believe it was 1953, my good friend Rowena Stapelfeldt Rosenbaum said to me in that noisy area; "mumble mumble Renaissance mumble Saturday morning mumble mumble at CCNY." I said "yes" thinking that I was going to hear a rehearsal of Renaissance music. On Saturday morning I discovered that I was auditioning for the Renaissance Chorus with Harold Brown!! I joined, and remained a loyal member of the chorus until 1963, when hospital internship and the practice of medicine became all consuming. It's interesting, however, how one's brain cells still demand the music, no matter what else is happening in life. What we sang is etched in my memory traces so that mentioning the name of one selection brings the whole to mind.

I remember the separation of the chorus from the High School, a good thing for Harold to spread his wings through us. I remember one very odd concert venue: a corner of the floor of the Colosseum, where an auto show was the competiton. I remember the concerts and recording sessions and the sound of the chorus within the Cathedral of St John the Divine; that stimulated a lasting interest in the acoustics of sacred achitecture and cymatics (the effect of sound on matter). The Carnegie Hall concerts stand out in my memory as particularly special. I remember Harold's pitch pipe, and its reinforcer - the index finger pointing to tell us to sing higher or lower in pitch.

I wonder if anyone ever took either photos or moving pictures during a concert. If only we could print out the movies of our memories.

I still have a couple of Baroque and Esoteric label recordings that survived the years and interstate moves.

I look forward to seeing everyone at the October celebration.

Yasoma Challenor
September 11, 2009