A Christmas to Remember: 

Enjoying the festivity of the holidays, a local man shares a chance encounter with the great soprano Leontyne Price.

(PHOTO:  Patrick Porter and his aunt Holly Gordon (left) join the soprano for a picture at The Four Seasons in Baltimore.)


by Patrick D. McCoy

The festivity of the holidays often spark engaging conversations that sometimes are totally unexpected.  In the midst of my own gathering, a dear friend handed me his phone.  I was at at loss for words as I looked at the post that he had pulled up on his Facebook page.  It was a post which included a picture of the great soprano, Leontyne Price!  A Facebook friend of shared about his meeting the legendary soprano.  Miss Price was radiant in red, looking beautiful as ever as she posed for the picture.

(PHOTO CREDIT:  Soprano        Leontyne Price by Jack Mitchell)

I reached out to Patrick Porter, a DC native currently living in Baltimore working in human resources and diversity inclusion for a global consulting firm about his chance encounter.   “It was on Christmas Day at the Four Seasons Bygone in Baltimore Harbor East.  I assumed that she was there for the Christmas Brunch that they have” Porter shared. Porter was with his aunt, who was surprised that he recognized the legendary singer immediately.

He went on further about his appreciation for Miss Price and classical music.   “I’m not in the field of classical music but I do love her and and know who she is.  I have friends in the opera and I feel like they should have met her before I did…I wasn’t even worthy” he said jokingly.

Born February 10, 1927, soprano Leontyne Price is considered one of the world’s greatest sopranos, having performed title roles in opera houses around the world, including The Metropolitan Opera.  The recipient of 13 Grammy Awards, The Kennedy Center Honors and numerous awards and citations, Price remains to be celebrated as one of the world’s most revered sopranos.


A native of Petersburg, VA, Patrick holds a BM in Vocal Performance from Virginia State University and a MM in Church Music from Shenandoah Conservatory.  Formerly the Performing Arts Columnist for Washington Life Magazine, he currently is a freelance writer, publishing articles for several noted publications, including The Washington Post, Early Music America Classical Music Voice North America, The Afro-American Newspaper, CBS Washington and Examiner.com.  He is a member of the Music Critics Association of North America, National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc., The American Choral Directors’ Association, a member of the Shenandoah University Alumni Board of Directors and a Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.  He serves as Organist/Choirmaster at Saint John’s Episcopal Church, Zion Parish in Beltsville, MD. Visit http://patrickdmccoy.com