AASA’s Singing Superintendents will make its one public performance of the year at the 3rd General Session of the 2017 National Conference on Education in New Orleans on Saturday, March 4.

The 20-minute program will include a tribute to the late folk music icon Leonard Cohen when the group sings his best-known recording, “Hallelujah.” The Singing Superintendents also will perform songs related to New Orleans, including “When The Saints Go Marching In,” “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?” and “Just A Closer Walk to Thee.”

About 20 superintendents are expected on the Hall A stage at the convention center in New Orleans. The Singing Superintendents will be accompanied on piano by Barry Furze, a retired South Dakota superintendent.

David Cox, superintendent of Allegany County Public Schools in Cumberland, Md., will direct the singers for the fifth consecutive year. Cox, an AASA member for 18 years, previously performed with the Singing Superintendents for more than a decade before assuming leadership.

While instruction in the STEM fields and language arts is essential to a public school education, Cox believes the annual stage performance of school system leaders from around the country serves to underscore the importance of fine arts and music education.

“It helps students keep in touch with their humanity,” he says.

Music is an important aspect of these superintendents’ lives as well.

“Even though we are removed from our own experience of public school education as students, music is a joy that we share when we come together,” says Cox. “Music is the glue that holds everything together.”

Cox welcomes conference participants to join the rehearsals, which are scheduled for Thursday, March 2, and Friday, March 3, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Hilton Riverside’s Trafalgar Room. A final rehearsal will take place immediately before show time at the convention center.

(By Rebecca Shaw, reporter for AASA Conference Daily Online.)