Family · Music

World Music Night

Last week our girls’ Highlander Youth Choir participated in the 4th annual World Music Night at Lyon College. Every year they explore different types of music and instruments from around the world. The theme this year was Celtic/Scottish music. The choir sang several selections and there were 3-4 solo performances. The choir sang:  

Our youngest daughter had a solo and, while it wasn’t a traditional song by any means, it was fitting for the day before St. Patrick’s Day. Her attire also stood out as if she hadn’t gotten the memo on the dress code. 

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Guess who I’m referring to?  Before the performance, she was sitting on a bench with several of her fellow choir members and it made me think of the Sesame Street vignette “One of these things is not like the others. One of these things just doesn’t belong.”  This was, I believe, the intent of her choir director, Dr. Oriatti, and an especially fitting analogy by me, since the song she was singing was written by Joe Raposo (a Sesame Street writer) for Kermit the Frog. Have you guessed the song yet?  You got it, “It’s Not Easy Being Green”.  The strange looks and whispers finally ceased when Dr. Oriatti introduced Peyton and her song. She sang it beautifully, with just the right degree of resignation and acceptance of being different. I hadn’t realized what a difficult song it was to actually sing (after all, Kermit really just speaks the lines) until she started practicing it. Her performance was so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes. You can see the video here

The evening also included a sitar and bagpipe demonstration. You may ask what a sitar has to do with Celtic/Scottish music? The answer, really, is nothing, but the sitar and bagpipe both employ a “drone” (no, not the ones that fly). A drone is the low resonating sound that continues throughout the song. And traditionally the musicians don’t use sheet music, making each performance of a song unique in it’s own way.  The children really enjoyed the instrument demonstrations. They were attentive and asked intelligent questions. And by the end of the bagpipe demonstration, (which they at first found much too loud!) they were dancing along with the music. It was a wonderful evening of music and I think we all learned a lot too. Can’t wait for next year’s event!

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