Choir singing outside Carnegie Hall during NYC blackout shows the power of music

15 July 2019, 12:39 | Updated: 15 July 2019, 13:24

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

On Saturday night, a power outage in Manhattan forced the evacuation of Broadway theatres and concert venues – so everyone took their music to the streets.

Last Saturday (13 July) lights went out across New York City, 42 years to the day after the city’s historic 1977 blackout.

A number of Broadway theatres and concert venues were forced to cancel their shows, leaving tens of thousands of theatregoers waiting in the streets.

But the biggest crowd gathered outside Carnegie Hall, where a choir who were set to perform there that night gave an impromptu performance.

The Millennial Choir took to West 75th Street to sing for a growing audience. They posted on social media: “We made the best of the unfortunate situation and performed some of our pieces outside for passers-by to enjoy during the stressful time.

“We feel blessed to have been able to touch many more hearts in an unexpected way from the streets of beautiful New York City.”

The powerful moment was captured and posted all over social media.

Casts of Broadway musicals Waitress, Hamilton and Hadestown also sang for delighted crowds, despite stalling traffic outside the theatres.

The cast of Hadestown performed the show’s opening number, with revised lyrics (“Ooh, it’s a blackout!”) sung by Tony Award winner André De Shields.

Hamilton sang for passers-by from above the Rodgers Theatre, while the cast of Waitress entertained theatregoers with their joyful number ‘Opening Up’.

Twitter user Michael Mahany wrote: ‘The show must go on, right?’, posting a video of Rock of Ages performing their closing number, Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’.

Meanwhile, Tony Award-winning musical Come From Away said: “It’s important to come together in times of darkness”, after someone posted a clip of the cast singing outside the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre.

Now that’s how you handle a blackout!

Why was there a blackout in Manhattan?

The blackout was caused by a power failure in New York, that halted subway trains and trapped people in lifts.

The outage, which lasted for around five hours, affected more than 70,000 homes and business in Manhattan, the most densely populated of the city’s five boroughs.

Power was restored to the city early on Sunday morning (04:00 GMT).