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      Every Week...I'm so lucky by Thomas Putnam

      blog20201Every Monday night and Tuesday afternoon I have the pleasure of working with two groups of kids who love to sing...who are passionate about singing...who do sing. As director I get to choose the music they sing. The process of choosing what pieces we are going to inhabit for several months during the year provides me with great joy. I love looking for pieces and studying them and analyzing them and ultimately choosing them for the season or rejecting them for now.

      Kids who love to sing coupled with songs that I love is almost too much to experience at times. Both groups are singing songs that often cause me to have to stop and regroup. Sometimes the music that is made is painfully beautiful. Other times the sheer joy of the singing is enough to cancel out any negative issues I've had to deal with during the day or week.

      I'm writing this on Tuesday night, so the rehearsal with the 20 kids in the Children's Concert Choir (grades 5-8) is still in my ears and soul. One of the pieces has lyrics by one of the children from Terezin, the concentration camp near Prague that housed 10,000 children during WWII and left only 100 alive at the end of the war. It's called “Birdsong” and the lyrics and the music are a perfect match. It's a joyous, glorious celebration of life—by a 12-year-old suffering in a concentration camp! These kids sing this song beautifully and with conviction and joy.

      Another is a beautiful unison setting of the poem “Sure On This Shining Night.” We've had discussions about the text and wondered what it might mean or what it might be creating in our minds. The experience is for me awe-inspiring.

      The older choirs are singing some great pieces, both together SATB and also in gender groups. “Earth Song” is absolutely breath-taking and the kids embrace it fully. I could go on about each piece, pieces I love and am so lucky to experience every week.

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