Today, we would like to express our great gratitude to Bob DeCormier, Peter, Paul and Mary’s Music Director, and Founder, Director and Conductor of the New York Choral Society. Bob traveled from Vermont to New York City to conduct the benefit concert for Operation Respect at Symphony Space, on September 29th, with poise, elegance and grace.
Bob DeCormier is a musical conductor, arranger and director who has been instrumental (pun intended) to bringing us music from many singers and performing groups, including Peter, Paul and Mary and Harry Belafonte. He has composed music for chorus as well as ballet and Broadway scores, but may be most famous for his spiritual arrangements. On September 25th, the New York Times featured Bob in an article leading up to the benefit for Operation Respect entitled, Everyone Knows Peter Paul and Mary, But What About Bob?
Beyond his extraordinary musical talent and history, Bob and his wife, Louise, are longtime social activists and live the spirit of Operation Respect in their daily lives. Harry Belafonte once said of Bob, “He felt deeply responsible as a citizen to use his art and his power to do something to fix those things.” No wonder then, that even at 94 years old and after a very long day of sound checks and performance, Bob was thanking us for the work we do as we walked him to a taxi near midnight after the benefit.
Peter Yarrow and (Noel) Paul Stookey honored and celebrated Bob DeCormier at the concert with a moving tribute and we would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation for all of Bob’s contributions to Operation Respect and to the world of music as well. Thank you, Bob, we love you!
(Photographs courtesy of Sarah Coale)