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      Broad Stripes and Bright Stars

      A week ago the HG Choirs sang” the National Anthem at the Little League World Series in Williamsport. We've been doing this since 2001...less than a month before the 9/11 attack. It seemed especially meaningful to stand before thousands of people and sing a song that stands for unity and healthy order. Yes, I realize it was written during and refers to a battle situation, but the song has woven its way into a national consciousness that somehow provides a focus for civil intercourse.

      We stand on the pitcher's mound and following the Little League pledge by a young player and a pledge by a coach, we sing. “O say... can you see?” calling attention to a time when hope seemed lost and the country was faced with huge challenges and attacks. The thousands of people are quiet, the only time during the whole day when a moment of stillness reigns. It's a collective quiet, a community stillness.

      The HG kids sang really well. We sing the song in parts and each part was strong. We had a third grader all the way up to an HG Choir alum. About 30 kids leading thousands of people in a moment of stillness by way of music. The power of music.

      This year that recognition of the power of music to unify thousands of diverse people—albeit only for a few minutes—seemed especially needed...and warmly accepted. I am moved to help our HG singers to recognize and embrace the power of music...and their responsibility to develop and use their gift.

      Though we as a country are beset with the challenges of a rudderless executive branch, we hang on to the hope “that our flag is still there.” That though we may be moving through the darkness following the “twilight's last gleaming” we can move forward as part of the “land of the brave” until we see the “dawn's early light.”

      I am purposing that my time with the kids in grades 2-12 who come every week for the love of singing will be a time of empowering and enriching as we explore and immerse ourselves in one of the greatest forces in the universe: music.

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