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The American Dream In Concert

April 27, 2012

There’s nothing quite like a public school concert for renewing your faith in the American experiment.  No offense to Mitt Romney, but when a bunch of 13 year olds—at least half of whom are immigrants—sing “America the Beautiful“, it has layers of meaning undreamed of at one of his campaign rallies.

Let alone what it’s like to hear the juniors and seniors play Bach’s “Concerto in C Minor for Oboe and Violin“, or sing Samuel Barber’s “Let Down The Bars, O Death“, or Mervyn Warren’s “Joyful, Joyful“.

And apparently our urban public school’s music department didn’t get the word that “they’ve taken God out of the public schools”.  Otherwise we wouldn’t have heard Albrecht’s “Gloria In Excelsis Deo“, Leavitt’s “Festival Sanctus“, or Franklin’s “Lean On Me“.

European classics by Holst and Schubert.  American classics by Bernstein and Gershwin.  Folk songs from Brazil, Mexico, and Nova Scotia.

And all of it done well.  The result of hundreds of hours of practice, scores of hours of rehearsal.  Demanding, inspiring teachers.  Talented, hard-working students.  And this happens all the time in public schools all across the country.  It’s not news.  It’s more important than that.

It’s enough to renew your belief that we shall overcome.

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