Students of the Anchorage School District participated in the districts first annual Choral Jubilee. This event featured 475 students from thirteen ASD elementary school choir. Students participating were members of choirs from Birchwood ABC, Campbell, Chugiak, Creekside, Eagle River, Homestead, Kasuun, Kincaid, Lake Otis, Mt. Spurr, Ocean View, Rilke Schule and Susitna Elementary School. In celebration of music education and the support and dedication of students, staff and families, this concert gathered musicians, teachers and audience to share in a unique and diverse array of songs and celebrations.

 

The evening began with the collaborative singing of our the Star Spangled Banner followed by the singing and signing of the Alaska Flag song.

The mass 475+ member choir was then divided into three groups, each group sharing a tune that they had prepared. Group one sang, Friends Are Like Diamonds, written by Teresa Jennings. Group two performed the partner song Pick A Little, Talk and Little and Good Night Ladies, written by Meredith Wilson and Group three performed Here Come’s The Snow, also written by Teresa Jennings. This was followed by a combined performance of South African hymn Siyahumba, written by Andries Van Tonder. Siyahuma became popular in North American churches in the 1990’s and means “We Are Marching.” Students from Rilke Schule accompanied the mass choir on barred instruments and drums.

 

The innagural Jubilee had an incredible opportunity to highlight the diversity and universal language of music in Alaska. Special guests from the Alaska Native Heritage Center, led by Loren Anderson, performed “Kaputiin.” This dance was composed to honor Supiaq elder and tradition bearer Lucille Antowock Davis and her father, the late Chief Matfay Antowock, as well as ancestors who fought for control of Kodiak Island from the Russians. This dance was to let the world know of a spear used in battle with the Russians that was stolen fifty or sixty years ago and that the family would like it returned.

 

Following the Alaska Native Heritage Center Ensemble performance, the Jubilee choir joined the ANHC ensemble in performing a finale piece composed by Loren Anderson, Cauyaq Gwi Ikuku’gka, which means “My Drum, I Found It!” Students of the Kincaid Elementary School Choir also learned and performed the dancing and a student drummer from Homestead Elementary performed with the ANHC ensemble.

 

This collaboration of dance, culture, diversity, unity and song was the choral highlight of the ASD elementary season. We could not be more proud of our students and colleagues. We wait with great anticipation for next years ASD Choral Jubilee!

 

Sincerest thanks the Director of Fine Arts, BruceWood, Fine Arts Curriculum Coordinator, Mary Wilts, the Alaska Native Heritage Center Ensemble and Loren Anderson, the ASD Music Advisory Committee and elementary choir directors Andrea Lang, Caitlin Hopper, Dawn Brayfield, Hannah Johnston, Hope Aldrighette, Kelly Frost, Kevin Downie, Lesa Morrison, Miriam DeLap, Shawnee Vanderpool, Suzette Spackman, Terry Stigall and Robin Hopper.