Ideas for our upcoming concert started percolating early this spring. The World House Choir had commissioned an arrangement of I Stand for You (Michael McDonald, 1993) and the lyrics from that song: “Together We Bring on the Light” resonated with me. I have the late Cheryl Welch — friend, former Assistant Director of Admissions at Antioch College, and beloved Yellow Springs resident — to thank for introducing me to that song over twenty years ago.
One voice is not strong enough, one heart just won’t do
In this world I don’t count for much, unless I stand for you
Lyrics from other songs started pouring through my mind. The aim of our September concerts is to reimagine a new world, to change the air we breathe through our singing, to connect with love to our human family around us. Together, let’s banish fear and raise our collective voice for justice, for radical hope, for love and for our commitment to the common good. Let’s get interconnected.
In a real sense all life is inter-related. All people are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be… This is the inter-related structure of reality.
(Martin Luther King in Letter from the Birmingham Jail)
Love is the only transportation
To where there’s total communication
(Come Go With Me, I’ll Take You There, Mavis Staples)
I wondered what additional spark I might add to our September concerts for a little more connectivity. Melanie DeMore came immediately to mind. Her musical depth and spiritual lightness of being invites singers to awaken their collective voices to galvanize and energize this journey of life, of love, and of meaningful connection.
Melanie and I first collaborated in 1992 at a benefit concert called Harvest for Justice: Feed the Hungry & House the Homeless in Over-the-Rhine in Cincinnati. We’ve worked together several times since then and I am thrilled to bring her back to Ohio to perform with the World House Choir.