Vocal Area Network logo VAN Feature

West Village Chorale to sing April 19 in memorial for longtime member Dan McCrary
by John Herzfeld for Vocal Area Network
Posted March 29, 2009

Dan McCrary, the foundation of the bass section of the West Village Chorale for more than three decades, had many friends and collaborators in the New York choral music community. The Chorale invites them all to join in an April 19 memorial appreciation for Dan, who died January 18 at age 77.

The memorial will be held at Judson Memorial Church on Washington Square, on Sunday evening, April 19, at 7 PM, to be followed by a reception. In addition to encouraging Dan's friends to attend in the audience, the Chorale is also inviting singers who feel close to Dan to supplement our vocal ranks, with rehearsals beginning Wednesday, April 1, at Judson.

The program will include the Ave Verum Corpus of William Byrd; Sure on This Shining Night by Morton Lauridsen; "Lida Rose" (from The Music Man) by Meredith Willson; Choose Something Like a Star by Randall Thompson; and "Make Our Garden Grow" (from Candide) by Leonard Bernstein. Other rehearsal dates, in addition to April 1, are April 8 and April 15; all times 7:45 to 9:15 PM. Call time for the April 19 memorial is 5 PM. Anyone interested in participating should contact the Chorale's president, Grace Goodman, by e-mail at gracegoodman@verizon.net. The event will be a secular (not a religious) memorial, with spoken remembrances in between the musical numbers. 

Dan had a fascinating life. A member of the West Village Chorale since it was formed in 1971, Dan also sang with Cappella Oratoriana in Brooklyn and the Dessoff Choirs, among other varied vocal pursuits. Even in his 70s, he was a solid rock of sonorous low notes, mellow high notes, flawless reading and good humor. A few years back, when he wrote an article for Vocal Area Network, he submitted the following bio: "Dan McCrary has been singing with the West Village Chorale longer than he'd like to admit."

In his day job, Dan was a veteran journalist of the type they don't make anymore. A 1953 graduate of Michigan State University, he started his career at the Wall Street Journal in Philadelphia. On a fellowship in 1959 and 1960, he worked for Lyndon Baines Johnson when LBJ was Senate majority leader, before his rise to vice president and president. Once in Washington, he went on to be a correspondent and editor for McGraw-Hill World News and Business Week magazine, also working in London and eventually New York.

We at the Chorale will long remember Dan's quips, sharp musical criticism, enjoyment of life, dedication to his loved ones, and zest for singing, in groups of all sizes.

John Herzfeld, sings in the bass section of the West Village Chorale.

Content Contact: John Herzfeld.
Revision Date: March 29, 2009.
Technical Contact: Steve Friedman.

 Vocal Area Network logo