When we sing, many sets of hands are involved. Whether they belong to our recital partners or the teachers and coaches involved in repertoire selection, our music making is an ongoing and shared experience. As singers, teachers, and lovers of song, our relationships with composers and poets are the same. We benefit from the events, ideas, and emotions they experienced—including those of our living composers. And when we open our mouths to communicate a poet’s words and to sing a composer’s musical reaction to them, we immediately engage in the greater community of music makers past, present, and future. Poetry and melody have a long-storied and dual capacity to community building between composers and audiences as well as singers and writers. Song connects. Song educates. And song transforms.
“Song is a metaphor of the imagination,” says America’s foremost baritone Thomas Hampson. “It is poetic thought encapsulated in music. Poetry is driven by the basic instinct to tell the story ...
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