The Gift to Sing
"The Gift to Sing" was commissioned in honor of Dr. H. Mooris Stevens, conductor of the St. Edward's University Masterworks Singers.
If there is one thing anyone who has sung in a choir (or other context) knows, it is how singing can “turn the gloom to cheerful day”, as James Weldon Johnson writes in his poem. We know it from our own experience, but it is even scientifically proven. There are many reasons to sing, and one of them is to bring light into our surroundings with your very own voice as your power. And if someone does not think of themself as a singer, I feel quite confident that Johnson’s poem will make them want to sing at the top of their voice!
Sometimes the mist overhangs my path,
And blackening clouds about me cling;
But, oh, I have a magic way
To turn the gloom to cheerful day—
I softly sing.
And if the way grows darker still,
Shadowed by Sorrow’s somber wing,
With glad defiance in my throat,
I pierce the darkness with a note,
And sing, and sing.
I brood not over the broken past,
Nor dread whatever time may bring;
No nights are dark, no days are long,
While in my heart there swells a song,
And I can sing.