As we are all too familiar, last April, 1999, there was a horrible tragedy at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Shortly afterwards, while the city was still in shock and grieving, we received a letter from a music teacher. Besides relating an amazing story of the power of music to us, she also requested that we consider writing a song of healing. We were overwhelmed at the thought of touching on such an incredible subject. But then, when the time came to create it, it seemed to flow. It was almost as if we were just the messengers. When our soloists, Melissa Schott and Katy Gentry, the select choir, and all of the musicians we used to record the piece heard of the letter, they were very touched. They all wanted to give their best and brightest performances for the children who would hear and need this song.
It's so very sad to think that children do need a song of healing. There are many instances of pain and suffering that we must all endure throughout life. As we were sharing the song with our staff members, a number of other ways the song could be helpful to people were discussed. Just the ability to bring up the subject of pain and healing through music was considered important and therapeutic.
You may or may not feel that you have reason to use a song like this. We sincerely hope you do not. But if you do, and if you feel you and your students will be able to perform it, we hope that it helps in some way.
Musically, we consider the piece to be somewhat sophisticated and therefore more appropriate for older students. As mentioned, we used soloists for the verses, and a select group for the divided chorus. Of course, these choices are optional. At the end of the song, while the background is gradually winding down to just the single B on the piano, consider letting your students join hands, one at a time in succession until all hands are joined. Start in the center with one person who puts out both hands. The person on either side takes a hand and then offers his own to the person on his other side. Do this at waist height so that the audience can see the unity as it is happening.
We dedicate this piece with love and hope to the children of Littleton, Colorado.