Happy New Year Everyone! I could not think of a more fitting New Year's text, than this poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson. Across Europe, there's quite the tradition of church bells tolling/bringing in the New Year.... Tennyson wrote an incredibly poignant poem on the subject. This text is more pertinent this year, than perhaps ever before.
We are so grateful for the continued love and prayers we have felt from all of our friends as little Scotty has been recovering. The GoFundMe has been updated, (not needing any further donations of course - as we have now received nearly $20K...we are so blessed and it's only up for informational purposes). We have been SO impressed with his recovery and are constantly counting our blessings. He is doing very well.
We are looking forward with light, hope and excitement to what 2021 has to offer, and are so grateful (truly) to what 2020 has taught us. Blessings to each of our dear friends and wonderful strangers who helped us on our path to where we are now. Thank you... this will conclude the virtual benefit (turned into gratitude) concert.
Please enjoy my arrangement based off of his words, and the Crawford Gate's hymn "Ring Out Wild Bells":
(Excerpt from: In Memoriam; Alfred Lord Tennyson)
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out the grief that saps the mind
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.
Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.
(view FULL poem, which is AWESOME and SO applicable to this year here: https://poets.org/poem/memoriam-ring-out-wild-bells
I was so blessed to be able to safely record in Highland Park Community House's gorgeous ballroom. It wasn't without it's challenges though, to have to be so far apart. The ballroom has a (wonderful!) acoustic, but with the reverb we found it difficult while recording this, to be at the same spritely tempo I really want this piece to clip at (when there is a lag, and across a large space like that- it's easy to react off of someone's reverb, instead of their actual sound.) ...So! Anyway, while it's not quite the tempo I would like for this arrangement-- it's still worth it to me to share, due to the amazing text and sentiment and the celebration of what's to come! :) I have thoroughly enjoyed working on these arrangements and can't wait until they are all "live" someday soon and compiled according to my hopes! Thank you Andrew Blendermann for being such an awesome pianist, as per usual!
"Becoming a mother changed me. I have more love, passion, and fulfillment in life; which in turn, enriches my artistry. Please join me in normalizing motherhood within the performing artist's culture."
- Rachel Sparrow
Rachel Sparrow is a professional singer, musician,(violin, piano, ukulele) actor, teacher, arranger, writer, and most importantly: a wife and a mommy of two littles. She loves to help parents make everyday life musical with their kids as well as share backstage stories, and performance experiences here. She earned her Master's degree in Voice Performance from Northwestern University, and also holds two Bachelor's degrees in Voice, and Music Education (certified to teach k-12 vocal & instrumental music) from Idaho State University. She is also a certified Music Together Director (music class for birth-5 yrs). See about Rachel.
"Think Outside Your Box" means 3 things:
1. Be Selfless - think beyond your own "box". (and for singers, there's more to life than your voice box!) You're capable of helping and healing others.
2. Feel Empowered to bust out of the proverbial
"box" made of societally-induced-parameters.
3. Be Bold. Innovate. Stretch yourself. You can do anything if you set your mind to it.