Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Random Act of Culture


From YouTube via my sweet cousin Margie:

On Saturday, October 30, 2010, the Opera Company of Philadelphia brought together over 650 choristers from 28 participating organizations to perform one of the Knight Foundation's "Random Acts of Culture" at Macy's in Center City Philadelphia. Accompanied by the Wanamaker Organ - the world's largest pipe organ - the OCP Chorus and throngs of singers from the community infiltrated the store as shoppers, and burst into a pop-up rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's "Messiah" at 12 noon, to the delight of surprised shoppers. This event is one of 1,000 "Random Acts of Culture" to be funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation over the next three years. The initiative transports the classical arts out of the concert halls and opera houses and into our communities to enrich our everyday lives. To learn more about this program and view more events, visit here. The Opera Company thanks Macy's and the Friends of the Wanamaker Organ (here) for their partnership, as well as Organ Music Director Peter Conte and Fred Haas, accompanists; OCP Chorus Master Elizabeth Braden, conductor; and Sound Engineer James R. Stemke. For a complete list of participating choirs and more information, visit here. This event was planned to coincide with the first day of National Opera Week.


  1. It still breaks my heart to hear that store referred to as "Macy's Center City" and not John Wanamakers. Wanamakers was THE fierce shopping experience for this young gay boy growing up - and every time we went to Philly, we always shopped there. There was also a Wanamakers in Harrisburg, which is where my mother would take me when I needed a suit.

    Anywhoo - great clip. And I love the idea of Random Acts of Culture. Brilliant.


  2. David, I hear you! But it is great to see the store brimming with live and music!



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