Marion Street chorus sings world premiere of ‘On the Day You Were Born’

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The Lynbrook School District commissioned composer Christopher J. Fludd to compose an entirely new and original piece of music for the Marion Street Chorus under the direction of Ms. Upston!

Mr. Fludd is a multi-instrumentalist, a classical singer, an educator, a conductor and a composer of classical and jazz music who grew up on Long Island. He adapted the text of the classic children’s picture book, “On the Day You Were Born” by Debra Frasier, and transformed it with rich harmony, into a bright, upbeat choral work evoking the joy of gospel and the energy of jazz. With every step, Mr. Fludd kept the compositional process with children’s voices in mind, so this song is not just sung by children, it was specifically crafted for them. The goal was to create sophisticated music with artistic integrity that did not talk down to children, but rather offered them an authentic opportunity for artistic musical expression.

Mr. Fludd came to Marion Street to work with the students in a rehearsal setting in preparation for the concert. Mr. Fludd was kind enough to not only attend the world premiere at Marion Street’s concert on May 13, but to play the piano with the students while Ms. Upston conducted the group.

The celebrated author, Debra Frasier, responded to our musical project with generosity and collaboration. Not only did the well-known writer/artist grant the right to use her beautiful text, but she also helped to teach and guide the children too! On Jan. 23 and March 21, Ms. Frasier hosted two interactive virtual art studio workshops in which every fourth and fifth grader had the opportunity to meet the author, see her art studio, and then create their own paper cutout animals inspired by artwork in her original book. Ms Wierzbicki graciously agreed to help the music department and aid the children as they constructed their new works of art.

The meeting of a composer from Long Island, an author from North Carolina, 203 students at Marion Street, the music department and the art department was a magical collaboration which not only offered children the unique opportunity to participate in a new musical event, but it also actively demonstrated the power of creativity to form new friendships, strengthen old bonds and lift each other up.

The world premiere of “On the Day You Were Born” was performed on Monday, May 13, 2024, at 7 p.m. by the Marion Street Chorus was met with thunderous applause, outstanding audience enthusiasm and rave reviews. #OwlProud

Date Added: 5/23/2024