On March 2 at 7:30 p.m., EnsembleNYC will present a very special concert at West End Collegiate Church located at 245 W. 77th Street (between Broadway and West End Avenue). The versatile soprano and writer Joanie Brittingham, who was profiled in Woman Around Town in December, tells us about this fun, uplifting, impactful NYC-focused event. For additional information and tickets, please click on the link at the end of the interview.
Please tell us about EnsembleNYC’s upcoming concert.
“Echoes from the Upper West Side” is a celebration of composers who lived in the Upper West Side and the music they wrote—for more than 100 years, the UWS has been the home of great composers. It’s EnsembleNYC’s first chamber music concert, and the pieces include some of the best from the neighborhood’s most famous neighbors, like Bernstein, Rachmaninoff, Ellington, Gershwin, and living composer Wayne Oquin. We’ll be sharing the stories of these composers and their time in the Upper West Side, as well as gorgeous pieces, some of which are well-loved favorites. As always with EnsembleNYC, we partner with a charitable organization for every concert. A portion of the ticket sales for this concert will go to West Side Campaign Against Hunger. Partnering with charitable organizations has been a cornerstone for EnsembleNYC, as our mission is to bring hope to New York City—through music and more!
What does it mean for you to be the MC of this concert, and to work with this organization?
I have been performing with EnsembleNYC almost since the beginning of the organization, including in live concerts and, throughout the pandemic, recorded concerts as well. I’m also serving as a board member. As the MC, I get to participate in a mostly instrumental concert for the ensemble, while also sharing storytelling and humorous quips about some of my favorite composers! I’m really proud of all the work EnsembleNYC has done. We’ve raised a lot of money for various organizations, including the Ovarian Cancer Project, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, the Alzheimer’s Association, City Harvest, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and more. We’ve also created some truly beautiful concerts, and for the musicians involved, a wonderfully supportive and creative community. Working with EnsembleNYC is one of the highlights of my professional career as a singer. Being the MC for this concert and a board member means I can bring some of my other gifts to the audience both on stage and behind the scenes! While we only have one performance of this incredible concert on March 2, EnsembleNYC also has a performance coming up on April 15 at Carnegie Hall.
Top photo: Joanie Brittingham as the soprano soloist in Bach’s Magnificat, with EnsembleNYC, 2019 – Photo courtesy of Joanie Brittingham