Joined together by fate, The Alliance Singers came into being from the aftermath of September 11, 2001. Forty-eight hours after that tragic day, local residents gathered and formed The Alliance of Neighbors, an-all volunteer organization to establish emotional and financial support for the families and the community. It was decided that a benefit concert would be the best vehicle, yet there was only weeks to prepare. Music icons Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi were the first to sign up, followed by Felix Cavalieri, John Eddy, Joan Jett, and Kevin Smith—-to name a few. While scrambling to cover all the details, co-producer Corinda Carford was faced with another last minute challenge when music director Gary Tallent urged: “We need backup singers for these acts. I know you can sing so see if you can pull 10 more people together for rehearsal—-for the day after tomorrow.” Slightly panicked, Carford ran to the first place she thought of: The Pilgrim Baptist Church, where she pleaded with musical director Jesse Moorer to “gather some voices (and they have to sound good with me!) And be at my house tomorrow night at 7:00.” This was to be the first meeting of many. As promised, the singers appeared and raised their voices in harmony for the various performers of the concert and became what is now known as The Alliance Singers.
Weeks after the successful concert madness, Corinda received another phone call. This time it was Terry Magovern, Springsteen’s Tour Director, requesting a smaller group from the original, to appear with Bruce for a week of holiday concerts at Convention Hall. Calling upon Moorer again, Jesse arrived at rehearsal with Antonio Lawrence, Michelle Moore, and Antoinette Moore to join in the festivities.
Months later, on a snowy Sunday afternoon, Corinda was once again called by Magovern asking if the singers wouldn’t mind working on some rough new material with Bruce. “The first time was a fluke; the second a thrill; but this? Incredible!” Carford remarked to Moorer. Then another stunning moment arrived in June when she was phoned by Springsteen’s management company informing her that the four cuts they recorded earlier that year would be included on the next album, The Rising. The songs are Mary’s Place, My City of Ruins, Let’s Be Friends, and The Rising. Some of these tracks are also included in The Essential Bruce Springsteen CD. The film Jersey Girl also featured the entire track of My City of Ruins. More concerts with Bruce followed, including an acoustic version of City of Ruins for The Today Show, where Matt Lauer exclaimed: “they lit up the room!”
Divine Intervention? Perhaps. But these five people who had never worked together as a group, have been requested for many performances since, including a service for the entire cast and crew for the HBO award winning series, The Wire, in memory of its creator Robert Colesbury.
The Alliance Singers have also performed with The Red Bank Jazz Orchestra, which was broadcast on NPR, and have been a part of the Gala Opening of The Garden State Film Festival.
Then one afternoon Corinda answered her phone and was surprised to hear from Associate Producer, Jen Flanz from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Flanz explained that Stewart wanted the backup singers from The Rising to help in a skit over a feud. As usual Corinda responded with a "sure! when?" Not very different from past instantaneous requests, Flanz replied: "this afternoon. Can you be here by 4:30?" Looking at her watch telling her "you have three hours to pull this off!" Corinda immediately got on the phone with Moorer: "grab everybody and meet me at the ferry!" They arrived at their appointed time and immediately jumped into the mad-cap humor of The Daily Show--which ha become one of the Top Ten Episodes of the show, garnering an Emmy nomination.
Springsteen called on them again to do backup on his release of The Promise and his latest Wrecking Ball.
The Alliance Singers recorded their first single Wayfaring Stranger—a spiritual from the early 1800’s—they put a unique Jazz-Gospel spin on this timeless classic, making it hip, smooth, and very “cool”. The song has made the Top 100 International Gospel Train Radio list, as well as the Top 75 International Country Music Association Radio Play.
Joking that “we’re the poster children for ‘You Never Know’, Corinda is convinced that there are wonderful and mystical forces that guide us to place us exactly where we’re supposed to be…and never forget to celebrate fellowship and community, peace, love, and charity.
Live at Sonny's for THE TODAY SHOW
The Alliance of Neighbors Concert [Live] on COMCAST
After Party With Bruce and Corinda's Birthday! Now THAT'S ONE HECKOFA PRESENT!
Corinda Sings Back-Up On "Easy Money"
The Promise/Bruce Springsteen
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