9 years ago this month, the choirs of Kellogg Community College (KCC Choral Union) had their first ever choral collaboration with the Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra (Michigan ‘s oldest performing professional orchestra), under the artistic leadership of maestra Anne Harrigan. Since our initial collaboration (Dreaming A World by Peter Boyer), the choir has returned several times performing in works such as Fantasia on Christmas Carols by Ralph Vaughn Williams to our most recent collaboration on Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
I too as a soloist have had the distinct pleasure of singing works such as Mozart’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Ninth, Carmina Burana, Madama Butterfly among others with our symphony orchestra and a wide assortment of choruses from throughout our city.
The Battle Creek community is rich in musical culture through its numerous choruses (collegiate, community and high school), bands and its symphony. Heck, we even have a fabulous Community Music School program. For those who want to take lessons with or without academic credit, they can study music through KCC’s individualized lessons program. Yes, there are a plethora of opportunities right here within Battle Creek to experience music.
All of these opportunities for self expression through music are very valuable for any community, but especially one our size. But it starts early. Our youth need opportunities for personal expression through artistic exploration. Music both in the school’s curriculum (not as a side or extra curricular activity, but part of the core list of subjects) and through community programming, such as those offered through the Community Music School, headed by the incomparable, Nancy Brown.
It is through such opportunities that our youth can grow into adulthood with a since of respect for others (similar to themselves and those who are different from themselves) which fosters a spirit of collaboration and openness.
There is much sadness and strife in our world today. But when it comes to music and the art of collaboration, peace and harmony exists between persons of different beliefs, political views, orientation and the list goes on and on while making music together. Music making creates relationships which breaks down barriers. We as musicians/artists bring beauty into this world. We can make a difference in this world by starting with making a difference in our community. Let’s keep “Dreaming a World” but one filled with peace, love, respect for all and music!
Propulsive Music: The Music of Peter Boyer – Works | Dreaming a World
To learn more about music at KCC, visit us on the web at http://www.kellogg.edu/music