Toronto group Choir! Choir! Choir! will sing with rock legend David Byrne on Saturday night at The Public Theater in New York City.
The Talking Heads frontman posted on his website that he will perform with the singalong group and “hundreds of strangers.”
“I’ve sat mesmerized watching online videos of the Canadian group Choir! Choir! Choir! They somehow manage to get hundreds of strangers to sing beautifully together — in tune and full-voiced — with rich harmonies and detailed arrangements,” Byrne said on his website. “With almost no rehearsal — how do they do it??”
“Well, opportunity knocks! I’m going to find out their secret tonight, as I’m singing a song with them.”
“It is surreal that this is happening,” Nobu Adilman, the co-director of the group, told the Star on Saturday.
Byrne, 65, lived in Hamilton briefly after he and his parents moved from Scotland when he was about 2 years old.
The performance in New York City is a stop on the Choir! Choir! Choir! U.S. tour. It is also part of the Under the Radar Festival run by The Public Theater, which introduced the group to Byrne.
Adilman said the group considers Byrne their hero. During the group’s first year, Adilman said their best arrangements were Talking Heads songs.
“To be able to share a stage with him is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Adilman said
The group will be performing David Bowie’s “Heroes,” Adilman said. Choir! Choir! Choir! has been performing Bowie’s songs on tour to pay tribute to the music legend.
According to the Choir! Choir! Choir! website, the group started in February 2011 as a weekly drop-in. Participants receive a lyric sheet, learn a “vocal arrangement” and are then recorded singing with a group of strangers on video.
The Toronto group often performs with celebrity guest singers like Patti Smith, Tegan and Sara, Rufus Wainwright and Kathleen Edwards.
With files from Bryann Aguilar