4 Heart Harmony Performed at NYC 9/11 Commemoration

News Story: September 7, 2008

Matt Telvi has an uncle who was working as an electrician in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

He was one of the lucky ones who escaped alive before the buildings’ collapse. Thousands of others were not as lucky, and Telvi’s family friends were among the firefighters that assisted in the recovery. So after being touched by the horror of that day, Telvi was honored Thursday to sing for a group of survivors, victims’ relatives, rescue workers, and dignitaries at the Marriott Hotel in Manhattan.

Telvi, a 21-year-old Sacred Heart University senior and political science major sang with 4 Heart Harmony, the university’s chamber choir, at a commemorative luncheon in honor of the victims.

“I’ve been singing for quite a while and through song, you can forget about what’s going on,” Telvi said. “Sometimes it brings a smile to people’s faces. On a day like 9/11, any smile you can get is good.”

The luncheon was sponsored by Voices of September 11th, a group co-founded and headed by Mary Fetchett, a Connecticut resident whose 24-year-old son was killed in the attack.

4 Heart Harmony sang Simon and Garfunkel’s Homeward Bound and Bridge Over Troubled Water, and Rascall Flatt’s My Wish as the banquet hall doors opened to admit the attendees for lunch. The choir returned after lunch and a series of panel discussions to close with Nella Fantasia by Sarah Brightman and God Bless America. The choir performed under the direction of John Michniewicz, Ph.D, the director of the University’s Academic Music Program. They were accompanied by pianist Galen Tate, an adjunct professor of music.

“[The songs] were chosen for their message of peace and hope,” Michniewicz said. “I thought they would be meaningful songs that people could relate to.”

Voices of September 11th’s mission is to advocate and provide services for all those affected by the attacks.

“It showed the unity and the strength of how in times of trouble, people become people, and it doesn’t really matter who you are,” Telvi said. “Everybody hurts when it’s time to hurt and mourns when it’s time to mourn.”

Michniewicz said that choir members and the attendees were affected by the emotional significance of the event because everyone there had been touched by the attacks.

“The audience was very moved by the performance,” Michniewicz said.” The choir members were very affected by it.”

“It was a very emotional performance,” Telvi said. “The audience was filled with people that had either lost a loved one or a family member or friend.”

It was meaningful for the choir to reach out to the victims, relatives, and rescue workers, according to Michniewicz. The choir had walked by Ground Zero and performed only blocks from the attack site.

“Being able to provide some measure of comfort was an awe-inspiring experience,” Michniewicz said.

See Voices of September 11th online at: http://www.voicesofsept11.org.