All 55 members of the City Bar Chorus are legal.
“It's made up of lawyers, paralegals, law students, judges, legal administrators of all sorts in corporate law departments, law firms, government and public interest - you name it,” says chorus member Kathy Schneider.
As strange as it might sound, it is no joke. They are an official chorus that's been going strong for more than a decade.
The City Bar Chorus is a fitting name, because they were founded by the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. Their mission is simple: to give back to the community.
“This is a group where I can do some good without practicing law,” says chorus member Nancy Lang.
“You can't buy the feelings one gets from doing this,” adds Louis Iacovino. “It’s just a labor of love. We really enjoy it, and the people just give back much more than we give them.”
The chorus is volunteer-based, and members meet two to three times a month to rehearse. They've sung at hospitals and senior residences - anywhere their music is needed - all at no cost.
“These kinds of nights of entertainment are great social events for our consumers who are blind and visually impaired, and certainly if we had to pay a fee to get entertainers to come we wouldn’t be able to provide this on a monthly basis,” says director of social services Carolyn Wolfe. “So by having different groups volunteer to come and perform for free, it allows us to keep this program going.”
“I really lack words to express my feelings, because their quality of music is so great,” says Ginny Bass, a fan of the chorus.
As for their style, well, pretty much anything goes: jazz, folk, even the Beatles. And they all agree the best part of what they do is the sing-alongs.
“I was really impressed. I really enjoyed the show,” says audience member Frank Zanca. “I just liked the musical style and I like how they got the audience involved. It's wonderful that they do it for the love of the music.”
And we thank the City Bar Chorus for lifting spirits with its music by making its members our New Yorkers of the Week.
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