Sam's school had a Remembrance Day concert on Sunday afternoon and one of the pieces they performed just dove in and nestled somewhere in me. So (as I'm well known to do) I came home and did a little obsessive research burrowing and listening. It's a fairly rare piece, a composition for harp and choir by the Danish composer (& also jazz trumpeter) Palle Mikkelborg, based on the text by Francis of Assisi:
Dear God, be good to me
The sea is so wide
And my boat is so small
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
This recording is of the choir a while back (it's a combined choir for both the girls' and boys' schools). It's not this Sunday's performance but it gives you a good idea:
(There's another performance of the piece here, by the Copenhagen Royal Chapel Choir)
I'm consistently impressed with and grateful for the music program here. Since students narrow down their courses and choose their future career paths in Year 11 here, many of the kids already know they're heading to study music at uni and will head to future music careers; it shows. (Also, interesting fact: students typically take individual music lessons at school during the school day through independent music teachers and miss a portion of class to do so. They take place on a rotating basis to make sure they don't always miss the same subject. Sam does voice lessons this way and really likes it.) I love that Sam's found his voice as a musician--literally his voice in the concert choir, chapel choir and motet choirs there--and that he's learning to express himself through his voice and the piano.
And I'm convinced that music itself is a merciful gift that answers Assisi's Prayer; the experience of joining with others in that unique, visceral, deep-rooted way makes the sea is less wide and our boats feel less small.
"I know, O Lord, that thou has all power, and can do whatsoever thou wilt for the benefit of man; therefore touch these stones, O Lord, with thy finger, and prepare them that they may shine forth in darkness; and they shall shine forth unto us in the vessels which we have prepared, that we may have light while we shall cross the sea" (Book of Mormon; Ether 3:4).