Kathryn sings with the Arlington Master Chorale. Last week they performed for the Texas Choir Directors Association Convention in San Antonio. Randy Jordan leads and directs the group.
Before the San Antonio performance, they sang the program at St. Marks Episcopal Church in Arlington, a beautifully spare performance space suited well to a hundred good, mature voices.
Joan Szymko‘s “It Takes A Village” made a stunning and rousing finale for the concert. The piece opens with the choir tapping their chests for a heartbeat rhythm, which by itself stirs an audience when performed by so many. It features a simple melody and lyric, though inspiring when done en masse or with a good solo.
And it packs an integral political message. The text is that same phrase that became a watershed between conservatives and liberals in the 1990s.
Cut to the chase: Hillary Clinton was right, and so especially was the Children’s Defense Fund right, and Jane Cowen-Fletcher right, about our collective obligation to raise the next generations. When pared down to the basic claim as sung by a good or ambitious choir, it’s an inspiration.
It takes a whole village to raise the children.
It takes the whole village to raise one child.
We all — everyone — must share the burden.
We all — everyone — will share the joy.
Some music is best experienced live, and this may be one. There are several recordings of this piece available on YouTube, not one done so well as the Arlington Master Chorale last week in my opinion (the choir directors loved it, too, I hear).
Here are two performances of the piece, each done very differently from the other. Until some enterprising group makes a more polished and better recorded video of the Arlington group, these will have to do (there are other versions on YouTube).
It is particularly spine-tingling to hear and see it performed by our children. When sung with gusto, the thought transcends and soars over politics. Song tells truths of the heart that politics needs to hear, and feel, and experience.
The Oklahoma All-State Choir
Oklahoma All-State Choir
Performed by the 2009 All-OMEA Mixed Chorus (Oklahoma All-State Choir).
Clinician: Johnathan Reed
Accompanist: Ron Wallace
Mt. Eden, Tennyson High and Hayward High Honor Choir at Chabot College (California)
Are there good, commercially-available recordings of this song? Please note them in comments. If you are a commercial music producer, I recommend the Arlington Master Chorale’s performance for recording.