Family's singalong set to raise money for miners
Almost a decade ago, New York policeman Daniel Rodriguez survived the Twin Towers terrorist attacks and went on to sing at a televised remembrance service.
Next month, the US-based tenor will perform concerts in Palmerston North and Greymouth to raise money for those affected by the Pike River mining disaster.
With him on stage at Palmerston North's All Saints Church on Sunday, January 16 will be Mr Rodriguez's wife, Marla Kavanaugh, her twin sister, Marissa Dikkenberg, and the sisters' mother, Palmerston North singer Kathi Craig.
The foursome will perform in Greymouth on January 22.
Now retired from the New York Police Department, Mr Rodriquez, who performed at a 9/11 remembrance ceremony at Yankee Stadium, has made a new career out of singing. Ms Craig said her son-in-law was on his way to work on the morning of September 11, 2001, when he became aware of what was happening to New York.
His decision to report to police headquarters probably saved his life, as it took him away from the stricken World Trade Center. "He doesn't talk a lot to us about the actual events. As you can imagine the whole thing's shocking – the memory of his friends and fellow workers who were killed."
After learning about the Pike River disaster, where 29 miners died following an explosion on November 19, Mr Rodriquez and his wife decided they had to do something to help.
"We're really looking forward to doing this. There's nothing like singing as a family," Ms Craig said. "It's just our family here and it will be very precious. We don't see each other that much."
Some well-known numbers will get an airing at the concerts, including You'll Never Walk Alone, The Rose and How Great Thou Art.
For the Greymouth concert, at the town's Holy Trinity Church, the four will be joined by Kiwi singers Will Martin and Lisa Chappell.
A message from former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani will be given to Greymouth Mayor Tony Kokshoorn.
Ms Kavanaugh and Australian-based Mrs Dikkenberg record together as The Songbirds, while Mr Rodriquez will in February perform with one of The Three Tenors, Placido Domingo.
The Palmerston North money-raising concert begins at 4.30pm on January 16. A collection will be taken at the end of the programme.
- © Fairfax NZ News
What would you like the weather to do in March?