This line from our Alma Mater is heard a few times a year when we come together for large gatherings. However, it is more than just a lyric from a beautiful song. One of the first things we learn about Dana Hall School is the legacy of traditions. These traditions create an eternal thread for all of the students, connecting today’s 21st century students with those from several decades ago. Most of these traditions involve singing – Step Sing, Revels, Cabaret, Senior-Sophomore, Mid-Winter Tradition, Convocations, Commencement, etc. When you further consider the participation in the choral ensembles – 5th & 6th Grade Chorus, 7th & 8th Grade Chorus, Upper School Chorus, Chamber Singers, Gospel Choir – you see that more than a third of the student body is involved in a formal singing experience and that every Dana Hall student participates in a singing activity of some kind. Why is that significant?
Singing in a choir can be viewed as merely an extra-curricular hobby to pass the time. However, choirs teach us how to be a successful community. We gather together regularly to work on a project, discuss the healthy methods to achieve goals, and everyone is included. To achieve perfect harmony, we are often divided into sections, and leaders of those sections can emerge. There are opportunities for featured individual achievement, solos, where we can simultaneously celebrate a unique voice and also instill pride in others that the soloist is one of us. And even though there are ups and downs on the journey to the checkpoint, the concert, it’s those experiences that make getting there that more satisfying. No matter where you are from, what your heritage is, what your beliefs are — the choir is an equalizer. We are united by a common bond, and the result is music and a sound that can only be created with many voices. Our success is rooted in recognizing we are part of something bigger than ourselves.
There is a debate what the first instrument was — drums or the voice. Did we inherently strike a surface in rhythm, or did we naturally begin to sing? I like to argue that all of creation sings in unique and different ways. Singing gives our students the opportunity to exercise the one thing that countless women have been denied for centuries — their voice. It is humbling for me to direct that important exercise every day of the week.
Singing gives our students the opportunity to exercise the one thing that countless women have been denied for centuries — their voice.
On Saturday, February 9 at 7:30 p.m. in Bardwell Auditorium, please join us as we present the 14th Annual Choral Tribute. This year’s theme is the music of Michael Jackson. We have a live band, audience sing-a-longs, faculty guests, but most importantly the voices of the Upper School Chorus and the Chamber Singers – voices which will ring throughout the oldest building on campus, connecting us to the oldest Dana Hall tradition . . .
. . . now let us sing.