Dallas Street Choir Gears Up for Performance of a Lifetime

Every Wednesday morning, there is a line outside The Stewpot in downtown Dallas.

"Good morning. Buenos dias," said Jonathan Palant as he greeted people at the door. "Coming in?"

Palant is the director of the Dallas Street Choir. Every week, some of the city's homeless and people who have been homeless file in for choir practice.

"It's a scrappy group," Palant explained. "I mean, the sound is pretty scrappy, but it's passionate."

Over the last two-and-a-half years about 1,200 homeless people have been a part of the choir.

"I'm in my happy mode when I'm starting to sing," said Elizabeth Armstrong, who was living on the street and now is in transitional housing.

"I can't even sing," said Arnez Ivy. "But it brings joy to my heart."

Last Friday 22 members of the choir took off for New York City. On Wednesday, they will perform at Carnegie Hall. They will be the first all-homeless performance group to do so.

"That's the beautiful thing about the Dallas Street Choir," said Palant. "It makes the homeless visible."

Palant spent two years raising money to pay for the airfare, hotel, food and performance attire. The 22 singers who are performing shopped inside The Stewpot's clothing closet for donated clothing before their trip, which they packed in donated suitcases, all for a performance none of them could have imagined.

"I just want them to hear my voice, to hear me and hear the choir," explained Ivy. "Hear how beautiful we sound together."

The Dallas Street Choir will perform at 8 p.m. Wednesday with the Dallas Credo Community Choir in a concert called 'Imagine a World - Music for Humanity.'"

"What do I get out of it?" Palant asked. "Wow, I mean, it's just unbridled joy is what it is."

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