History sometimes has an unusual way of repeating itself as those in New York City can attest. On Wednesday, 13 July 1977, 42 years ago, New York City experienced a blackout that left 9 million customers without power. That event was somewhat repeated on the evening of Saturday, 13 July 2019, commencing at about 6:47 pm EDT, when the West Side of Manhattan in New York City experienced a power failure, leaving approximately 73,000 Con Edison customers without power for about three hours.
The outage affected six power sectors and encompassed approximately a 30-block area in Midtown Manhattan and the Upper West Side, from Times Square to 72nd Street, and from Fifth Avenue to the Hudson River. Areas affected by the outage included Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, and Broadway, causing 26 of 30 Broadway shows to cancel for the evening. The four remaining shows playing on the east side of Broadway were able to perform. Performances at Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center were also canceled, as well as a Jennifer Lopez concert at Madison Square Garden. Power was fully restored by midnight that same evening.
Nevertheless, some performers from the canceled shows were determined that they were not going to allow a power outage to stop the show. While locals and tourists exited performance halls into the black of the night, those outside Carnegie Hall experienced something that Yahoo News refers to as “celestial.”
The Millennial Choirs and Orchestras—which includes members from throughout the western United States—was scheduled to perform that evening at Carnegie Hall. Members of the Choir would later recount the events of the evening by posting on their Facebook pages that they “made the best of the unfortunate situation and performed some of [their] pieces outside for passersby to enjoy during the stressful time.” Songs that they performed included “I Believe in Christ” and “I Stand All Amazed.” Those performances went viral across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The performances were also shown on major news outlets like ABC, MSN, CBS, Yahoo! And The Huffington Post.
Sometimes things don’t work out the way you plan in life…
Thousands of us flew to NYC for the opportunity to play in Carnegie Hall. It was a huge sacrifice for many people flying from all over the country and world for that big night. But about an hour before the show, the lights went out during rehearsal. NYC had a major blackout…
Disappointment set in across the faces of both youth and adults. Most will never have this chance again. A local at our hotel told us as we walked around in the dark that this hasn’t happened in 15 years.
It was the first time in history that a show had ever been canceled in Carnegie Hall because of a power outage.
So instead of complaining about it, these singers and orchestra, in the darkening night, lit up the streets of NYC with their voices.
Instead of a closed audience seeing the show, the whole world is seeing the show now through social media.
I was there. . . And I saw the tears in the eyes of the most diverse range of people I’ve ever seen.
America’s Violinist, Jenny Oaks Baker was scheduled to perform with the Millennial Choirs and Orchestras that evening. She posted about the experience on Facebook. She said, “It was so inspiring to be able to perform such a sacred and inspiring song about the wonderful love that Jesus Christ has for all of God’s children for the thousands of people who had gathered in the streets. The Spirit was so strong! Here was a great example of my favorite scripture in 2 Nephi 2:2, “And God Shall Consecrate Thine Afflictions For Thy Gain!”
Greg Trimble further commented in a Facebook post, “My belief is that God moved a lot of really good people at their own expense to a place on this planet in which a message of hope and faith in Christ could be fully syndicated.”
Sometimes personal dreams are crushed in an instant. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for a musician to play in Carnegie Hall. In an instant, a large portion of Manhattan lost power and the lights went out just prior to the men, women, and children who had been practicing and anticipating this day for the last year of their life. Thousands of dollars were spent in airfare for large families, hotel accommodations and other travel arrangements. Instruments were transported, hundreds and thousands of hours were invested. And every heart was tuned for an experience INSIDE that historic hall. Everyone was evacuated from the hall. A logistical nightmare that no one could have prepared for. We waited anxiously in the humid heat, prayed the power would come back on, and lit up the city with music that lifted the congregating masses. As time went on and it started to get dark, Brandon Stewart stood up on a chair and announced that the hall would be cancelling the concert. There was palpable pain that went through the air as he said those words. So many sacrifices seemingly dashed in an instant.And then in true form, Brandon, this Juilliard graduate stopped and said, “but we’re going to leave this city with ‘I Believe in Christ’… and we’re going to let it rip.”Certainly, people will call it a coincidence. But I learned that this is the first time in the history of this historic hall that they have ever had to cancel a concert because of a blackout. When we got back to our hotel, a local worker told us without us asking that NYC hasn’t seen a blackout like this in 15 years. The power was eventually restored near the time that the concert would have ended had it proceeded as planned. My belief is that God moved a lot of really good people at their own expense to a place on this planet in which a message of hope and faith in Christ could be fully syndicated. Millions have now heard this message. Here’s another look of that parting song… in its entirety.❤️ you all!#nyc #nycblackout #mcoinnyc Millennial Choirs & Orchestras
Posted by Greg Trimble on Sunday, July 14, 2019
Here is the video of me performing "I Stand all Amazed" last night with the Millennial Choirs & Orchestras Choir in the New York City Streets when our Carnegie Hall Show was cancelled because of the blackout. It was so inspiring to be able to perform such a sacred and inspiring song about the wonderful love that Jesus Christ has for all of God's Children for the thousands of people who had gathered in the streets. The Spirit was so strong! Here was a great example of my favorite scripture, 2 Nephi 2:2 And God Shall Consecrate Thine Afflications For Thy Gain! Thanks to Darcy Spencer Ure for the video.
Posted by Jenny Oaks Baker on Sunday, July 14, 2019