Monday, December 18, 2006

Sing, Choirs of Angels...

No, wait! Don't!

O, more tidings of ignorance.This story is even better than Seattle's Holiday Tree Incident. It seems that a city official at an event in California-escorted by the police-asked a high school choir to stop singing "God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman" because olympic medalist Sasha Cohen was at the event and it was assumed she'd be offended by Christmas carols. Sasha Cohen was reportedly "stunned" and said she is half Jewish, half Christian and "celebrates everything". I think if someone did that to me, I'd be more than stunned, I'd be mortified.

Yesterday, though, I went to my oldest daughter's Winter Concert, appropriately entitled "Harmony". She is in the choir at one of the most diverse high schools in the country. The students currently attending that high school represent 64 different birth nations and 75% speak a language other than English at home. Some of the students come from wealthy families, the majority are middle class but 30% of its students currently live in poverty.

The Winter Concert featured Christmas and Hannukah music performed by the band, orchestra and choirs. I fully expected the big finale to be something like "Jingle Bells" when I found myself in for a huge treat. Accompanied by the orchestra, the choirs sang "Give Me Your Tired and Your Poor". If you aren't familiar with this piece, it's a musical arrangement by Irving Berlin to the poem "The New Collosus"; the words that are written on the Statue of Liberty, and it's quite moving. As they sang, the principal announced the birth countries represented at the high school and each nation's flag was marched into the auditorium. After all the flags were in, the audience was asked to stand and join the band, choir and orchestra for the finale, which was "America The Beautiful".

I've been accused of being a "weeping willow" and I admit, I am guilty as charged, but I don't think there was a dry eye in the auditorium. One word: BRAVO! The entire world is not insane after all.

God Bless America and all of you, too!

No comments: