Friday night was the spring concert by the Leelanau Children’s Choir & Leelanau Youth Ensemble. The performance at the Northport Community Arts Center bore the title “Music That Moves You,” and the selections performed lived up to the show’s title. Let me quote from director Margaret Bell’s director’s letter at the front of the program:
Music forms such an incredibly rich backdrop for so many events in our lives. There are the traditional songs played at graduations, weddings, and holidays. There is parade music, memorial music, and music to enhance our movie experience. Some music prompts us to tap our toes, “get up and boogie,” or unabashedly “shake it all about.” Music surely seems to be all around us – everywhere and all the time.
Some of the most poignant and powerful music is that which evokes a memory or an emotion. The song that takes you back to a summer evening in your youth, the one that takes you back to a beach vacation, the song that played when you first kissed the one you love.
The program’s popular music ran from Irving Berlin to Chuck Berry. American musical theatre was well represented, with songs from “The Music Man,” “Les Miserables,” “West Side Story,” and other shows.
Several students from the choirs came forward between numbers to read essays they had written on the topic “Music That Moves You.” Their words, like the music, were moving.
LCC&LYE concerts are always stirring, happy and also poignant occasions, as former “little ones” grow up and seniors graduate and leave (often coming back to join their successors as alumni performers). I am always happy to be in the audience, happy to look on the eager, attentive faces of the singers as they make their hard-working director proud. Accompanist Linda Davis came in for special recognition and appreciation this year, also.
But the young voices – those are what the choir and youth ensemble are all about. This spring’s concert included many beautiful solos, duets, and trios I could not capture on camera, entranced to stillness as I was by the singing.
Leelanau County is indeed fortunate (to put it mildly) to have these musical groups for our children and youth. LCC&LYE would not have come into existence without Margaret Bell. With her continued dedication and hard work, the dedication and hard work of her students and their accompanist and all the people who work on costumes and put together the shows and support the groups financially, choral music grows stronger every year in Leelanau County.
One thing I would like to see is more Northport involvement. Having the spring concert in my little village thrills me, and I would love to see more young Northport faces onstage and more Northport families and other residents in the audience.
If you want to be moved by music, there’s no better way than to go to a concert presented by the Leelanau Children’s Choir & Leelanau Youth Ensemble! Better yet, besides attending you can be part of the group by sponsoring. Because it's all about the kids.