Sunday, March 19, 2017

An Inspiring Story: They “Searched for a leader, but the leader was me.” (John Legend)

The Thursdays: Semifinals 2017; credit to Sara Yood
Go ahead and open the first link  below while you read this.

I should be writing an entry that has something to do with the subject of this blog, which I haven’t touched in months.  I should be working on my taxes.  I should be cleaning the house.  It’s a nice day; I should be picking up the  evidence outdoors that three dogs live here.  I should be clearing a space in my studio for …oops… another loom that’s on its way.  I should be weaving (yes, I have been weaving).

Instead I have succumbed to committing to virtual paper a story- with music-that dominates me these days.  At a party yesterday I saw several old friends whom I hadn’t seen in years and we all took time to exchange news about ourselves and our families. Right now this story is my biggest news.  I decided to get it all down here so that my old friends can follow the links.  

My daughter Amanda teaches vocal music in Chelmsford Massachusetts, a large town that you pass through if you drive on I-495 north of the Mass Pike.  She has taught there for three or four years and introduced a cappella to her students.  A group of students came together to become The Thursdays and they sound good.  So good that they entered the International Championship of High School A Cappella.  Early last fall Amanda presented The Thursdays with a number of songs from which the group chose their set for the competition.  Rehearsing began.

Election Day came and went; The Thursdays continued to rehearse their set.  Just before Christmas vacation they approached Amanda to say that they needed a new set.  Their set had to express how they are feeling about the world these days.   Amanda quickly searched for a few songs that were a bit edgier; The Thursdays chose their songs and over the Christmas break Amanda worked on arrangements.

The quarterfinals for this competition were held on February 11th and The Thursdays came in first.  On March 11 they went on to the Northeast Semifinals… and placed first.  Now it’s on to the Nationals which will occur April 21 at Town Hall In New York City.  How will they do?  Amanda is just proud that her students will participate, and that they searched their souls and had the courage to make a change in their set based on what they found in that search.

So here is a link to their performance at Semifinals last weekend, caught perhaps on someone’s smartphone.  The audio quality is good but not perfect.  If you’re like me and want to really hear every bit of the lyrics… and the lyrics are as powerful as the music… I’m also providing links to recordings of two of the three songs in the medley below.  I believe that the artists in these recordings are the artists that originated the songs.  And one is Bob Dylan.

A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall   Bob Dylan                 

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