Whether we have children as adults, or recall our own childhood experiences, fond memories of youth exist for many of us. Present times have taught us about life, relationships, struggle, and the joy of music. We have all experienced a range of emotions in our lives that help us recall the amusement of childhood games, periods of sadness and grief, and the comforting embrace of a loved one while listening to a lullaby.
With KidSong, the Arizona Repertory Singers hopes to remind you of all your experiences of growing up and the importance of childhood, while including many different languages to articulate the diversity of our world. You will feel the joy of childhood games like tug-of-war in Ken Steven’s “Hela Rotan,” the joy of songs learned as a child in the exhilaratingly complex “KidSong” by Stephen Caldwell, and the comfort of lullabies from around the world including Paul Smith’s arrangement of a Japanese melody in “Edo Lullaby.” You will also experience the immense grief borne from the death of a child through Dan Forrest’s “Good Night, Dear Heart.” In a personal addition to this program, I have arranged the well-known Welsh lullaby “All Through the Night” for our choir. This lullaby was sung to me by my mother when I was a child and holds a special place in my heart.
On the evening of March 15, 2022, at our rehearsal, the singers hosted a party for my wife, Julia, and me with two beautiful cakes to celebrate the upcoming birth of our boy-girl twins, Alder and Aspen. Unfortunately, Julia couldn’t make the party because she had suddenly checked herself into the hospital over worries about the babies. With leftover cake in my backseat, I rushed to the hospital. The doctors decided to deliver the babies that night, and at 1:19 am the next morning, our beautiful twins were born. In addition to our two older boys, Christian and Noah, we were now a family of six!
I have learned a lot about children during this last year of parenthood. The feeling I experienced when seeing innocence, pure joy, and the sweet nature of a child learning about the world cannot be matched. There is so much love and wonder to absorb from the youth of our world, we hope this journey of KidSong will inspire and offer you a reminder of your own youth.