The theme for the 7/8th grade spring chorus concert is perseverance. Rehearsals have been very inspiring to say the least. One of the songs we are singing is I Ask for One Day by Jim Papoulis. This song was inspired by a poem written by a 7th grader. The text is this:
I ask for one day where I don’t have to hear about pain, or life that’s lost.
I ask for one day, where whispers of hope are alive inside my heart.
Where there is freedom, and justice and judgement is gone.
I ask for one day in my life where there is sunshine through the shadows;
Only one day in my life where the world is at peace as I sing.
Just one week ago on May 7 there was yet another school shooting in Colorado. And as we were singing this song earlier this week I couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of anger, and profound sadness. I stopped rehearsing and asked if anyone had heard about the horrible event. 3 people raised their hand. THREE!! I couldn’t believe it! “Why don’t more of you know about this?” I asked. “Why is nobody talking about it?” One student quietly said “Because it’s become normalized.”
NORMALIZED?!? WHAT?!?! Nothing about this is normal. Nothing about this is okay. Our kids deserve SO much better...and I told them all of this. I explained (quite emphatically) that this world can be crazy and sometimes it is difficult to know what to do. It is so easy to feel small and to think that one person, or a few people are unable to make a big difference. BUT, making music is doing something. Making music is a way we can elevate humanity, connect with each other and make something beautiful. We can be heard through our music. So let’s sing the HECK out of this song and make our audience FEEL something!! This can inspire change. Let’s persevere through this insane world and find beauty through the chaos.
Empower your kids to find their voice and use it to send a message. It doesn’t matter what the message is. Guide them to realize that these concerts can be a platform to share something important with their community. We have these performances throughout the year to showcase our hard work, but consider occasionally using it for something deeper and more meaningful. Find something that is important to your kids and use the music they are singing or playing to help them discover their ability to send a message. I am very much looking forward to this concert and sharing our music and stories about how we can persevere, spread some joy and elevate humanity by creating something beautiful.