Thursday, December 13, 2012

Children's Voices Singing

You might think that by attending a second grade winter concert on Tuesday, a first grade concert on Wednesday, and a  kindergarten concert tomorrow that our grandchildren must be performing.  With no grandchildren living in Manhattan, though, I must have another reason.  It's simple. . . I love to hear children sing. And fortunately I have many opportunities. With Drew being Head of School at Léman Manhattan, I get to hear students not only sing, but play instruments, display art work, act, read poetry, run up and down the basketball court and more.  It's glorious!  

Children singing during this holiday season reminds me, in a weird way, of chocolate-covered pretzels,  sugary sweetness and salty excitement rolled into one.  Depending on the song, their voices can reflect the unbridled joy of "Jingle Bells," (especially the big "HEY!"), or the hopeful innocence of "What Can We Do to Make Peace?"*  These songs were among the ones that the Léman first graders shared in their Songs of Peace concert.   (Click on the video to experience their "Jingle Bells" joy.)

Kathy Hart, lower school music teacher, collaborated with the first graders to write their own song, "Winter With Friends" for the concert.  She wrote the music, lyrics for the chorus, and students added their ideas for winter fun.  This is one of those "salty with excitement" songs, literally including a line about potato chips.  Here's a taste of their creativity, which they performed with actions!

(Ms. Hart)
I see snowflakes floating down from the cool gray sky
Looks like winter is coming to our town
You better get ready to:

Make snow angels
Have a snow fight
Build a snow house with an underground pool!

Go snow tubing
Play ice hockey
Go ice skating with friends from school

(Ms. Hart) - Chorus
Play in the snow all day, invite everyone in 
There's nothing like winter with friends

Build a snowman that  
Eats potato chips
Pile the snow high and jump right in!

Drink hot chocolate
Eat some cookies
Dig to China and make new friends


Learn to snowboard, mountain ski
Get your sleigh
And crash into a tree!


Enjoy winter. . .
Enjoy winter. . .
Enjoy winter with friends

To balance the salty with the sweet, the children sang "Pacem (A Song of Peace)."**
Indeed there can be nothing sweeter than the soft, lilting and ever hopeful voices of children, blended as one in song, to offer the world what it so desperately needs. . . PEACE.  The first verse is followed by two questions, which the children ask each of us.

In the silence of the morning when the dawn has just begun,
As the moon is softly fading with the rising of the sun,
If you listen to the sparrow and the gentle mourning dove,
There's a message in the song they sing; it is peace they're singing of.

"Pacem, singing pacem."  Can you hear the song?
"Pacem, singing pacem."  Will you sing along?"


*by John Ferrell
** by Andy Beck and Brian Fisher

Thanks to Brylee Maxfield, Communications Manager at Léman, for the video


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