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Seeds Students Celebrate 125 Years of The Singers’ Club of Cleveland

What happens with the renowned men’s chorus, The Singers’ Club of Cleveland, chooses to celebrate classic books and a love of reading for the final concert of their 125th season?

They call Seeds of Literacy . . . and invite students to participate!

Seeds students Valerie Taylor, Hilary Whiting, and Demetrius Pate, Sr. joined The Singers’ Club this past Saturday evening before a packed house at the Breen Center for the Performing Arts. The program’s theme, Through the Looking Glass, featured poetry by Lewis Carroll and a variety of songs that ranged from folk songs and spirituals to classical choral pieces. Poetry, read by Seeds students, provided interludes between the musical segments of the program.

Valerie Taylor set the tone of the evening with the opening piece, “Child of the Pure, Unclouded Brow:”

Child of the pure unclouded brow
And dreaming eyes of wonder!
Though time be fleet, and I and thou
Are half a life asunder,
Thy loving smile will surely hail
The love-gift of a fairy-tale.

I have not seen thy sunny face,
Nor heard thy silver laughter;
No thought of me shall find a place
In thy young life’s hereafter –
Enough that now thou wilt not fail
To listen to my fairy-tale.

A tale begun in other days,
When summer suns were glowing –
A simple chime, that served to time
The rhythm of our rowing –
Whose echoes live in memory yet,
Though envious years would say ‘forget’.

Come, hearken then, ere voice of dread,
With bitter tidings laden,
Shall summon to unwelcome bed
A melancholy maiden!
We are but older children, dear,
Who fret to find our bedtime near.

Without, the frost, the blinding snow,
The storm-wind’s moody madness –
Within, the firelight’s ruddy glow,
And childhood’s nest of gladness.
The magic words shall hold thee fast:
Thou shalt not heed the raving blast.

And though the shadow of a sigh
May tremble through the story,
For ‘happy summer days’ gone by,
And vanish’d summer glory –
It shall not touch with breath of bale
The pleasance of our fairy-tale.

Hilary Whiting provided a dramatic interlude with the classic favorite, “Humpty Dumpty:”

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty in his place again.

Demetrius Pate, Sr. closed the celebratory performance with the lovely, “A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky:”

A boat beneath a sunny sky,
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July —

Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear —

Long has paled that sunny sky:
Echoes fade and memories die:
Autumn frosts have slain July.

Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.

Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.

In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:

Ever drifting down the stream —
Lingering in the golden gleam —
Life, what is it but a dream?

Thanks to Natalie Mallis, Artistic Director, Robert Bellisario, Assistant Conductor, and all members of The Singers’ Club for inviting Seeds to be a part of their historic concert!

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JSteigerwald