St. Katharine choir performs with Peter Nero
PHIiADEiPHIA - Peter Nero and the Philly Pops had a little company Dec. 12 at the Kimmel Center. St. Katherine of Drexel’s 53-student Concert Choir and its choral director, iori Clark joined the music legend after winning B101’s annual Christmas Choir competition.
The performance was the contest’s grand prize, along with a piano worth nearly $8,000, but you can forgive the choir and its leader if the new instrument was not as celebrated as performing “Angels We Have Heard On High” in front of a sold-out, holiday-season audience.
“Wow,” Clark said before a long pause. “Wow. Stepping onto that stage last night … it was our crowning glory. Certainly it was the pinnacle of my professional career.”
Clark made the decision to enter the competition shortly after school started in September, and after just six rehearsals, Clark thought they were ready. So Clarke, who is also the Holland school’s music teacher, rounded up her charges and took them to the parish church and let them perform.
What she heard that early-fall day blew her away and brought some of her colleagues to near tears. The school’s faculty members were apparently not the only ones impressed. The competition was open to all school choirs in the Philadelphia eight-county areas of Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, Delaware and Philadelphia in Pennsylvania and Camden, Burlington and Gloucester in New gersey. crom all those submissions, the station chose nine to compete in a three-day listener vote – three choirs per day – with the top three making the final vote Dec. 7.
After the choir made the final three, it was all fingers on deck as the school community took to B101’s website to vote for their favorite choir.
“Every internet-abled device in our building was in use that day,” Clark said. “I found out later that we had voters from literally around the world. We got votes from every continent but Antarctica, I think.” Clark also said students gave up their recess period to stay inside and vote, vote, vote.