The Magic of Music
Music is magic. There are times when voices lifted in song seem to bring us together as one.
That magic happened last night at First Flight High School when the Naugatuck, CT High School Chorale combined with the Manteo and First Flight Choirs.
Living on the Outer Banks, there can be at times a sense of isolation, but through the magic of music, life on a sandbar became much more a piece of the world around us. “Last night students when connected with neighboring schools and our guests from many miles away, the world grew a bit smaller,” FFHS Choral Director John Buford wrote.
Naugatuck first came to the Outer Banks five years ago. Under the direction of Mahlon Peterson, the choir tours every year, alternating between Europe and the US.
“It’s a great way to build a program,” Peterson said. “The kids have a great time and I get a good choir back.”
And it is a remarkably skilled choir, performing music from across the ages. In their performance Naugatuck led with “Ave Maria,” the traditional chords and vocals resonating through the auditorium. They ended with “Build Me Up Buttercup”, which is anything but traditional, but they pulled it off beautifully with humor and some great vocals. All of it a cappella.
In addition to the music of the Naugatuck Chorale, Manteo and First Flight High School and Middle School choirs had a chance to perform.
Becki Rea’s Manteo High School Ave Singers performing “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” really stood out.
Two performances at the end seemed to truly highlight the power of song, though.
The combined choristers of the FFHS Advanced Choir and the Naugatuck Chorale performed “Prayer.” A haunting, lyrical piece of music, it is based on a prayer written by Mother Teresea. Performed a cappella, the arrangement last night featured soaring soprano voices, complex chord structures and moving voices within the chords. An intricate and beautiful piece of music, the two choirs mastered the music in one day.
The finale seemed a perfect way to end the evening. With every choir gathered on stage “We Are the World” was the ideal reminder of the universal quality of song.
A powerful and evocative song, the melody and lyrics speak at once to our memories and our hopes for the future.
“As a teenager watching chart topping artists on MTV singing “We Are the World,” I would have never dreamed I’d one day be leading a stage full of middle and high school students singing that song,” Buford wrote. “The sound that can only come from that many voices singing together was moving.”