20 years after the September 11 “life-changing” concert on Staten Island, the Notre Dame Glee Club returns to the borough


STATEN ISLAND, NY – The University of Notre Dame Glee Club will return to Staten Island to perform a September 11 20th anniversary concert at Our Lady of Pity-St. Anthony of Padua RC Church, located at 1616 Richmond Ave. at Bulls Head, Monday, October 18 at 7 p.m.

Five weeks after September 11, 2001, the President of the University of Notre Dame, Father Edward Malloy, sent the Notre Dame Glee Club to Staten Island to give a benefit concert for members of the University of Notre Dame Staten Island Alumni Club. to raise funds for the Twin Towers Fund. The fund was created to help the families of the FDNY and the NYPD. And as a result, the Notre Dame Glee Club has raised over $ 13,000.

This year, to mark the 20th anniversary of the deadliest foreign attacks on national soil, the current ND Glee Club will return to our borough to once again bring its healing music to the community.

HISTORY OF THE PERFORMANCE OF THE CONCERT

In May 2001, then-Club Notre Dame president Joe Delaney, along with members Peter Skorney and Peter Whitehouse, traveled to the Notre Dame campus in South Bend, Indiana, for an alumni leadership conference.

On campus, the trio met Daniel Stowe, the director of the ND Glee Club. It was agreed that the Glee Club would travel to Staten Island on October 18, 2001 to perform a benefit concert for the Christopher Whitehouse Foundation at St. Peter’s RC Church in New Brighton, the oldest Roman Catholic church on Staten Island.

As the summer of 2001 quickly passed, the ND Club formed a concert planning committee made up of club members Delaney, Whitehouse, Skorney as well as John Thompson, Dr. Bob Griswold, Gene Devlin and Pete Mulroy.

However, on the morning of September 11, 2001, all concert planning stopped.

On September 17, 2001, Delaney telephoned Daniel Stowe to explain the tragedies that prevented the Staten Island Club from raising funds for the concert, and asking others for funds at that time was unacceptable. .

However, Stowe quickly informed Delaney that Notre Dame President Father Edward Malloy wanted the Glee Club to come to New York City to give a free benefit concert and use the funds raised by the concert to help out. families of deceased firefighters and police. officers. The Twin Towers Fund was selected.

On the morning of Oct. 18, 2001, the ND Glee Club Bus stopped at St. Peter’s RC Church after traveling 13 hours overnight from Indiana, Delaney explains. After exiting the bus, the Glee Club members were escorted to the World Trade Center site under the direction of police and firefighters, who were members of the Notre Dame Club.

Delaney went on to explain that the young men at Glee Club viewed the ruins of the World Trade Center from the observation booth set up at what would later be known as Ground Zero. After leaving the podium, they were calm and gloomy, resolved that the concert they would give that evening would be done with a renewed sense of dedication and determination for those killed at the World Trade Center on September 11.

That evening’s concert was given in front of a crowded audience filling all the seats in the church and with standing places only along the walls. The audience inside St. Peter’s consisted of firefighters, police, other first responders, as well as a number of family members of the victims of the World Trade Center attack and the public. The concert was an inspiring event with songs of sacred music and patriotism.

At the end of the concert, Glee Club members received NYPD and FDNY caps in appreciation of the Glee Club’s efforts which raised $ 13,000 for the Twin Towers Fund.

The concert ended with the Glee Club singing “America the Beautiful”, “Ave Maria”, “The Notre Dame Alma Mater” and “The Notre Dame Victory March”.

As the Glee Club sang “The Notre Dame Victory March”, members of the Glee Club donned their hats to a standing ovation from the church crowd. There was not a dry eye in the church, as the concert ended dramatically.

Memories of that first September 11 concert are deeply rooted in the hearts of the people of Staten Island who attended the event on this heartwarming day.

As for ND Glee Club members, they’ve had October 18, 2021 circled on their calendar for many years. There will be alumni from the 2001 group who will also be heading to Staten Island for this year’s concert.

As several members of the 2001 Glee Club told Delaney, “The Staten Island 9/11 concert changed my life. It turned me into a serious and focused person. Several others expressed that the concert had built an undying love and respect for New York City and Staten Island in particular.

Tickets for the concert are priced at $ 35 and can be ordered online at https://rb.gy/cvds0r

The concert will benefit Notre-Dame de Pitié-St. The Church of Saint-Antoine de Padoue and the food collection of the Bread of Life of Notre-Dame.


Corina C. Butler

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