To the Editor:
I was among those standing throughout the CCC performance at White Horse Village Saturday evening. Every seat in the auditorium was taken. The Chorus rewarded its audience with a varied program of classical, operatic, popular, jazz and gospel pieces, all performed with superb musicianship and infectious spirit. The audience returned the favor with a standing ovation that resounded until the last of the children had paraded out of the auditorium.
I have attended at least 25 CCC concerts over the years. I love choral music and have respect and appreciation for the extraordinary musical achievement of the children from Chester. But it was a comment that I overheard from one of the WHV residents that expressed why I hope to attend at least 25 more: “They lift my spirits.”
That comment resonated with a favorite quotation from the African-American theologian Howard Thurman: “The mass attack of disillusion and despair, distilled out of the collapse of hope, has so invaded our thoughts that what we know to be true and valid seems unreal and ephemeral....That is the great deception....To drink in the beauty that is within reach, to clothe one’s life with simple deeds of kindness, to keep alive a sensitiveness to the movement of the spirit of God in the quietness of the human heart and in the workings of the human mind — this is always the ultimate answer to the great deception.” (Meditations of the Heart, pp. 110-111.)
I think Howard Thurman would be proud that Black children are leading whole communities of Black, White and Multiracial audiences away from despair with their “no” to the great deception and “YES!” to beauty and kindness. Their “YES” rings out in every performance, and is contagious.
I hope you will join me at a CCC concert soon. There are opportunities on May 10 and May 11, 7:30 p.m., at Lang Concert Hall on the Swarthmore College campus.
Grant Grissom, Vice-Chair
Chester Children’s Chorus