Gratitude 1: Belonging

Last night, I played a carillon concert entitled Voices Uplifted. My goal in the program was to lift up voices of marginalized populations through carillon music. The works I composed are: "Our Time: Me Too;" "Enough is Enough, Never Again: Sketches;" and four pieces in a set entitled "Belonging: A Carillon Call to Care for All." The individual pieces of "Belonging" lift up the voices of Muslim/Arab, African American, Jewish, and Latina/o global brothers and sisters. Each piece is based on profound life stories from individuals to whom I dedicated the piece.

On this Michigan summer evening, thunderstorms rolled in before the concert. A brave contingency of audience members showed up, donned in rain slickers and umbrellas. My dear family shared strawberries and brownies with the guests. As the guests huddled under a covered courtyard, the swirling dark clouds chased each other across the sky, unfurling thunder and lightning bolts. During Belonging's "The Voice of Weeping," which opens an invitation to Jews and all to mourn the atrocities of the Holocaust, the heavens poured forth drenching rain. At the end of "Border ID" (the final piece in "Belonging"), I play swatches of "De Colores," celebrating the colors of the world. Just as the "De Colores" theme sounded, the clouds began to part, and the sun shone through in a promise-laden glow of gold and terra cotta.

Filled with gratitude for brave souls everywhere. You belong.