I’ve always thought that the audience members at the Spoleto Chamber Music Series were fairly rabid in their support and enthusiasm.
But they’re a sedate bunch compared to the followers of the Westminster Choir. At the choir’s last concert a few days ago, the Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul was packed to its historic rafters (and very beautiful rafters they are). The crowd just about gave the young singers a standing ovation for just entering the sanctuary. They also liked the concert — which covered music from 1600 to 2011 — and called the group led by Joe Miller back for an encore. (It was the last concert by the class and there was a lot of hugging and crying afterward.)
Now, I am not making fun of fans of choir. Or young people who sing in choir.
After posting on Facebook about the fervent fans of the Westminster Choir, I received a word of warning from Eric Holowacz, who was Spoleto operations manager in the 1990s.
“Don't you go talkin' no trash about no choral people or vocal programs, now. We'll find you the next day, naked and covered in pox, somewhere outside Ravenel. Just don't do it (I once paid the price, so trust me). Ahem, the choir rocks!”
For those of you who wonder what has become of Holowacz, after leaving the festival he ran the Arts Council of Beaufort and arts organizations in New Zealand, Australia, and Key West, and is on his way back from Down Under to head the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, La.