Come Travel With Middle School Choirs on a Journey of Poetry through Song

On Thursday, November 16, the melodic voices of our Middle School choir students harmonized together for the annual Winter Choir Concert that was performed for Middle School peers, faculty, and staff. Under the direction of Jason Roberts, Middle School Choir Teacher, with accompanist Matt Safely, the sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade choirs performed their show entitled Come Travel With Me – A Journey of American Poetry through Song.

For the concert, students sang songs of gratitude, growth, and generosity by various American poets such as Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and more. All music was sung by the Eighth-Grade Concert Choir. The songs listed below with an asterisk included the Sixth- and Seventh-Grade Choirs as well.

The gorgeous song list included:
  • Come Travel With Me by Walt Whitman, set to music by Scott Farthing*
  • The River Sleeps Beneath the Sky by Paul Laurence Dunbar, set to music by Mary Lynn Lightfoot
  • Come In from the Firefly Darkness by Amy Feldman Bernon
  • I Shall Not Live in Vain by Emily Dickinson with violin accompaniment by MICDS Orchestra Director and JK-12 Arts Department Chair Dr. Jo Nardolillo
  • My America with original poetry by Joyce Eilers, which combines My Country, ‘Tis of Thee with original poetry by Samuel Shepard Smith*
  • Je Le Vous Dirai! which translates to I’ll Say it Anyway – a song from 15th-century France performed acapella
  • Bonse Aba, which translates to All that Sing Have the Right to be Called the Children of God, – a song from Zambia, Africa, performed in acapella featuring vocal solos by Priyasha Munshi ’28, Cyrus Kummer ’28, and Elise Tourais ’28 as well as Reid Caruthers ’28 on an African drum
  • How Can I Keep From Singing? – a gospel arrangement with vocal solos by Chloe Shamsham ’28, Meher Dhindsa ’28, Camilla Brauer ’28, Jessie Zhang ’28, Isolde Scoville ’28, Sireen Tanoli ’28, Eloise Lurk ’28, and Abby Walsh ’28*

As audience members traveled with the Ram vocalists through the music, many important messages were sung. Mr. Roberts summarized inspiration from Emily Dickinson’s piece, which seemed to say, “Our life’s journey is best served when we serve others.” Before singing My America, Roberts referred to the recent Veterans Day assembly and encouraged each of us to thank those we know who have served or are serving in the armed forces for their service. Overall, the music uplifted the entire chapel with joy, thanks, and proud Ram spirit!

“I am so proud of this year’s choirs in the Middle School,” reflects Mr. Roberts. “The younger grades have come so far in such a short time, and I am particularly proud of this year’s Eighth-Grade Concert Choir. They have sung with energy and passion all semester and have truly raised the bar on what my expectations are for ensemble singing in our Middle School. Their harmonies consistently fill my heart each day, and I could not be more proud of the sound they have created. Choral music is alive and well in the Middle School!”

Thank you to Mr. Roberts for guiding these students to such musical beauty! Also, a very big thank you to all who helped make this concert such a success and to all who support the arts at MICDS!

The Eighth-Grade Concert Choir will present this concert and more for family and friends in a couple of weeks in an evening performance. Until then, keep your heart singing with gratitude, growth, and generosity as we head toward Thanksgiving next week.