Education

UK choir that planned to sing in Notre Dame serenades the charred cathedral instead

The University of Kentucky Chorale planned to perform inside Notre Dame but after the April 15 fire changed their plans.
The University of Kentucky Chorale planned to perform inside Notre Dame but after the April 15 fire changed their plans.

They sang anyway. Just in a different spot.

The University of Kentucky Chorale was planning to perform in Notre Dame on May 10 but a massive fire on April 15 that destroyed the historic Paris cathedral’s spire and roof forced them to change plans.

A spire at the famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris collapses after a fire broke out on April 15, 2019.

Video posted by Michael Rintamaa, director of music at Central Christian Church, shows the UK Chorale serenading the still-closed cathedral from beside the Seine River in France. As the choir sang, a crowd gathered on the budge above to watch, listen and applaud.

The 37-student chorale, conducted by Jefferson Johnson, had to submit recordings and a resume to be accepted to perform in the 12th-century cathedral. After the fire, Johnson said to perform in Notre Dame was “the dream of every choir” and the fire was “devastating.”

But the group made the trip anyway, also singing the National Anthem at the American Cemetery in Normandy overlooking Omaha Beach on May 8 in honor of the upcoming 75th anniversary of D-Day. They laid a wreath at the memorial for American soldiers who died in the invasion to liberate France from Nazi Germany in World War II.

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