I go to these recitals because I get to sit next to my husband, who teaches these kids. I like him, and we spend precious little time actually doing things together. Also, it is uplifting to see talented young people bringing their individual voices to a musical ensemble at a very high level.
This kid, the trumpet player in the skinny jeans. It was his senior recital, and he did excepetionally well. His program was beautifully selected, and the entire second half were his own compositions. Two were sincerely (without a trace of youthful irony) dedicated to his parents, and the tunes were lovely.
He also selected a piece by Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) called “Finlandia,” whose tune I know as a hymn called “Be Still My Soul.” The words he printed in the program, though, were by Lloyd Stone (1912-1993), entitled “This is My Song.” They are achingly poignant in this discordant time, and the beautiful sentiment brought a tear to my eye. In fact, here is a link to a sweet, low-production version so you can enjoy it, too. Or an orchestral rendition, if you prefer. This piece seems to have been performed by every choir and orchestra on the planet, and I am happy to discover it.
And here are the lyrics! Peace be with you.
THIS IS MY SONG (Jan Sibelius – 1899 / Wds Lloyd Stone – 1934) Finlandia
This is my song, O God of all the nations,
A song of peace for lands afar and mine.
This is my home, the country where my heart is,
Here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine.
But other hearts in other lands are beating,
With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.
My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean,
And sunlight beams on clover leaf and pine.
But other lands have sunlight too, and clover,
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
O hear my song, thou God of all the nations,
A song of peace for their land and for mine.