Friday, September 25, 2009

Lesson for the Day

Recently, the Indianapolis Children's Choir performed at the annual Fiesta celebration in downtown Indy. The vibrant colors representing the various Latin countries, the mouth-watering aromas and the picture-perfect weather made for a wonderful day.

Cantantes Angeli kicked off a four-song set with our national anthem. Before the first few bars were sung, it became clear to me that many people in attendance may have forgotten, or perhaps have never known, the proper conduct they should display during the Star Spangled Banner.

Only a handful of people turned to face the flag, fewer still in proper form. Reverance for our flag is second nature to me, most likely due to many years spent on military installations. For those you may not have the same experience, here is what United States Code 36 says about conduct during the playing of our national anthem:

During rendition of the national anthem when the flag is displayed, all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. Men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should render the military salute at the first note of the anthem and retain this position until the last note. When the flag is not displayed, those present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed there.
Yet another "teachable moment" here at ICC!

Friday, September 11, 2009

What Merits a Standing Ovation?

Driving to work yesterday, I caught the end of a conversation on WIBC. The morning talk show hosts, Terri Stacy and Big Joe Staysniak,were discussing what types of events merit a standing ovation.

I was thrilled to hear the first event on Terri Stacy's list was children singing! She went on to say how moving it can be to hear kids sing, and that, "....the Indianapolis Children's Choir does it to me every time!"

To hear the power and emotion that can come from these small voices certainly can move one to their feet. If you consider the work that is needed to meld hundreds of unique voices into one beautiful sound, a standing ovation is earned even before these kids sing the first bars of a song!

With the many public performances around town, you can not only appreciate all the hard work of our singers and artistic staff, but hear the results as well!
Our new season, Tapestry of Song, offers many opportunities to discover the Indianapolis Children's Choir. Standing ovations are guaranteed!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Start With Art - What a great idea!

Today I attended Start With Art, a function put on each year by the Arts Council of Indianapolis to kick off the arts season. The featured speaker was Angela Brown, acclaimed opera singer and Indianapolis native. Angela spoke on the theme of the event, "Arts At Work", and in a very engaging way recounted her early experiences in the arts right here in Indy.

She praised the Indianapolis arts scene as that rivaling any big city. Growing up, the arts environment here provided her many opportunities to at first discover, then hone, her amazing talent.

She went on to speak of her travels around the world, and recently visited Christel House South Africa, where she sang with the same choir that the Indianapolis Children's Choir sang with while touring two years ago. (Even Angela commented that "there's nothing like singing with children!")

Then she said something that inspired this blog: "Arts make the bad things go down easy." The arts take what is beautiful about life and showcases it for all to see, and they do indeed soften the edges of a bad day. A beautiful painting, a inspiring one-man play, a dancer moving in ways that should be impossible, or even a children's choir singing a song flawlessly - these do make life a bit easier for us all. So go ahead - start your Fall with a little more art!