Brooklyn Opera Singer Brings His Voice To Nightly Applause To Frontline Heroes

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By WCBS Newsradio 880
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Friends asked Peter Kendall Clark to join them on the street for their nightly ode on Hicks Street in Brooklyn Heights, but he had prior arrangements with Alex Trebek.

“They’ve been asking me to come down and join them, to cheer on the health care workers, and I kept telling them, at 7 p.m., I have a very firm commitment to Jeopardy at 7 o'clock," Clark told WCBS 880's Mike Sugerman.

Finally, last Friday, he did one better, joining them on the street to honor the frontline heroes with a song.

Peter is a professional opera singer and actor known around the neighborhood as the longtime violin and voice teacher at the local St Ann’s School. And that night went well.

“Then I have friends in the building who didn’t know I was singing, and they came out, and they asked me to sing more. So I said, ‘Alright, I’ll do it again tomorrow,'” Clark said.

And tomorrow became tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, and he hasn’t stopped yet. 

He knows his colleague in Manhattan, Brian Stokes Mitchell, was doing the same thing out of his balcony and eventually got shut down because the crowds were too big.

And despite the growing crowds, he expects to keep on going until he can’t — for his neighbors, for himself and for the friends that he brings up for duets.

“After that first night I thought, I really miss performing, in fact, I was supposed to be in a show tonight. Actually after the first night, I could hardly sleep, because of that adrenaline rush," Clark said.

“One of my favorite things about living in Brooklyn and New York City is to feel that camaraderie, so it’s been really good to feel that,” said Rebecca Brudner, one of Clark’s former students who did a duet with him.

“It’s really a nice way to cheer people up during what’s been a very sad and scary time,” said neighbor Joann Navickas.

“It’s one of the nicest things that’s happened in the last two months,” said neighbor David Fobair.

There are sometimes upwards of 100 people standing in and around Hicks Street during the performances.

Clark urges social distancing and to keep police away, he hopes people stay that way and won’t block traffic.

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