Goin’ Home: Lucy Kinchen Chorale Returns to First Church

Nov 8, 2021

The Lucy Kinchen Chorale met together for the first time since the pandemic began on Saturday, for a rehearsal that was filled with warm embraces and lots of laughter. “We are like a family, it was wonderful to back together,” said conductor Lori Willis. “There were moments during the pandemic where I did not know if this would happen. We are all so happy today.”

The Chorale, whose repertoire consists mainly of traditional African American Spirituals, was started by Lucy Kinchen in the late 1990’s. Lucy, who was a member of First Church, died in 2020. This rehearsal also marked the first time the chorale had gathered in person since her death.

Lori Willis is Lucy Kinchen’s daughter. She has been leading the chorale since 2018. In order to address concerns that singers had over the ongoing pandemic, the chorale chose to meet in the cloister, wearing masks as they warmed up and practiced an arrangement of Goin’ Home, by Paul Langford. The music was audible on Broadway and for the voters arriving in the nearby polling place.

The Chorale does not currently have a performance planned but will be rehearsing on Saturdays this Fall. The Chorale frequently contributes to First Church worship service with choral anthems and offertories.