Singers massed at Spartan Gymnasium. Youthful voices rattled retracted backboards. The gym, usually salted with hoopla and sweat, purred with harmony and syncopation. The Sixth Grade Honor Choir Concert showcased an army of elementary school vocalists, as well as ensembles from both local high schools. Instructors stood proud and nervous. Educators received well-deserved, praise-stuffed bouquets. And music erupted. Five of eleven selections were ecclesiastical: John’s Christology or sassing the devil or Negro spirituals or jubilation to the Bible’s god. Boys swaggered in celebration of the Drunken Sailor. Girls charmed the socks off hundreds with sweet antics, rendering When You’re Smiling with excessive joy (if there is such a thing). Even the full moon applauded, fresh from eclipse, bestowing a blue winter’s wink from behind backlit clouds. Humans approximate paradise in song. This festival chorus dipped toes in eternal seas. Songs ended; all welcomed respite from hard bleachers. Chairs were restacked. Full lots emptied. Cars of tired choristers and glowing parents rolled to their abodes.
A grander, quieter symphony rung simultaneously at Spartan Gymnasium, crooning behind choirs’ offerings. Performers included parents, schools, children, citizens, taxpayers, educators, administrators. Their selection was Nurture the Future, a goodwill opera sung to an orchestra of young heartstrings. Each family, each life added its melody. Each kinfolk beat its peculiar percussion of progress. The communal “symphony” soared lyrical, though dissonance (we know) erupts occasionally. Success was palpable. Sixth graders, fresh to song, plugged along bravely. High schoolers, only three to six years their elders, waxed poetic. One imagined wonders ahead: chorales or madrigals, musics from Islam or Borneo, atonal poems and structured classics, rhythms of timeless or timely tempo. Perhaps Shoreline fledges voices destined to one day spellbind mankind.
H. G. Wells (British, 20th century A.D.) said: “Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.” At Shoreline’s Honor Choir Concert, education was a full lap ahead.