Khorikos, led by founder Jesse Mark Peckham, took the stage to close the night. Khorikos is an a cappella group that is one of New York’s elite choral ensembles. Indeed, to judge by the performance tonight, that reputation should include anywhere! This listener has heard many excellent a cappella groups, but Khorikos was truly a cut above in a performance that was stunning from start to finish. For the record, the works performed were No llores, paloma mía (Do Not Weep, My Dove), by Guillermo Martinez, Where Flames a Word, by Kile Smith, Miserere, by Frank La Rocca, and A Song of Joys, by Nick [Omiccioli]. Mr. Smith and Mr. La Rocca were in attendance and took well-deserved bows for their fine works.
Well-deserved reception, also, from the audience for my composer colleagues, whose pieces were outstanding, and for Jesse Mark Peckham and Khorikos, who sounded as good as the reviewer states. I had heard them a few months earlier in Where Flames a Word and all these pieces, but “stunning” was indeed the word for the ensemble sound from the Carnegie stage. Thank you, Jesse and Khorikos!
The Alice (Texas) High School Honors Band mentioned in the full review, by the way, raised eyebrows, let me tell you. Arnold Garza has a powerhouse there. And it was a pleasant surprise to meet composer Neil Rolnick after the concert. I’ve played a number of his works on Now Is the Time, but had never met him, so chatting afterward was an unexpected delight. He said, I believe, that he knew a parent of a Khorikos singer, and was also there to hear music by his college friend Frank La Rocca, whose Miserere, again, knocked me out.