The Singing Superintendents kicked off the closing session of AASA’s national conference on Saturday with a poignant farewell to New Orleans and powerful tribute to the late Leonard Cohen’s most recognized number, “Hallelujah.”
In a 15-minute performance on stage at the 3rd General Session, the beautiful soprano voices of women mixed seamlessly with the powerful bass male voices to begin the program with a rendition of “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?” and “Just A Closer Walk With Thee.”
The Singing Superintendents also covered “Sing,” a song most associate with TV’s “Sesame Street.” It was a fitting way to convey the joy of music and singing. The chorus followed with “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which was named the official African American anthem in 1919 by the NAACP.
The concert ended on a patriotic note with a gospel, New Orleans twist — a mashup of “America The Beautiful” and “My Country, ‘Tis Of Thee.” This connected the audience with the singers, getting many in the crowd up on their feet, singing along.
The 14 singers volunteered their time and talents, rehearsing for this show for just three days under the direction of David Cox, superintendent in Alleghany County, Md. The accompanist was Barry Furze.
“Music provides us all with rich experiences that connects across all disciplines,” said Cox in between numbers. “It enriches students’ lives that reaches into adulthood.”
Cox issued a public call for all interested conference participants to join the Singing Superintendents for next year’s performance. If Saturday’s show was any indication, it will be a wonderful, vibrant show — particularly because it will be set in Nashville, Tenn., known as the “Music City.”
(By Rebecca Shaw, a reporter for Conference Daily Online.)