Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Leave It As It Is

I love to sing.

If you know me in person, you know this to be true. In any case, I sing all the time, if I can, and I am singing this year in two wonderful groups.

Caritas Vocal Ensemble and The Singers. For Caritas the concerts season begins in the early spring, but The Singers will sing a concert on Oct 9th in collaboration with some other local choral groups.

Among other pieces, we're singing a choral work based on the words and contemporary music of the 4 Mount Rushmore presidents.

As I am rehearsing the music I keep getting choked up at the power of these words.

I don't know if you knew this, but the Gettysburg Address is pretty amazing.

Part of the Teddy Roosevelt text is taken from a speech he gave at the Grand Canyon and it is one of the finer things I have read recently as well -

I included the full text here -

In the Grand Canyon, Arizona has a natural wonder which, so far as I know, is in kind absolutely unparalleled throughout the rest of the world. I want to ask you to do one thing in connection with it in your own interest and in the interest of the country - to keep this great wonder of nature as it now is.

I was delighted to learn of the wisdom of the Santa Fe railroad people in deciding not to build their hotel on the brink of the canyon. I hope you will not have a building of any kind, not a summer cottage, a hotel, or anything else, to mar the wonderful grandeur, the sublimity, the great loneliness and beauty of the canyon.

Leave it as it is. You can not improve on it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it. What you can do is to keep it for your children, your children's children, and for all who come after you, as one of the great sights which every American if he can travel at all should see.

We have gotten past the stage, my fellow-citizens, when we are to be pardoned if we treat any part of our country as something to be skinned for two or three years for the use of the present generation, whether it is the forest, the water, the scenery. Whatever it is, handle it so that your children's children will get the benefit of it.

Now I don't know if it's the hormones, or just the fact that I haven't ever had to engage so closely with the words of these great men, but I have been a little bit of a mess every time I sit down to practice.

If you are in the area please come and see the show, it's going to be amazing, but bring your hanky.

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