One of my favorite songs of all time is Handel's majestic "Hallelujah Chorus" from The Messiah (I know that should be italicized. For some reason, my italics aren't working this morning). Something about it stirs my soul every time I hear it.
A former professor and mentor and dear friend sent me this link last night. When I watched it, I got very emotional.
This video was made by 5th graders in Quinhagak, Alaska. They put in 10 hours of work over a weekend to shoot this. Having spent my life doing creative projects with kids, I have a sense of the kind of massive time and effort this sort of thing takes.
What really moves me though is to see the expressions on their faces. I am presuming, based only on what I saw in the video, that this is not a group of children who have a whole lot of what many of us take for granted. Life in their part of the world looks difficult and sparse.
When I see their excitement about this project--and when I extrapolate from my own experience and envision their time making this, when I imagine the laughter and giggling that went on, the time and effort that they spent thinking about this project, I get chills. In fact, I get a bit teary.
To me, that is what the arts do. They bring light into the world and individual hearts--even to cold and bleak places. They light up children's faces and give them something to be proud of and excited about.
That is why, I suppose, as someone who believes deeply in the Light of the World, I went into the arts, and the educational side particularly--to help spread light into a world that is so often dark. To bring a smile to a child's face, to help them, God willing, find something to be excited about, to be proud of.
That this happens in our world today, even as far away as Quinhagak, Alaska, that caring people do things like this--well, no matter what your religious background is, that is worthy of a hallelujah!
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