Be Kind

Peter Durow

Peter J. Durow

Be Kind was commissioned by ADCA-MN for the 2018 State 4-5-6 Girls Honor Choir, Barbara Sletto, guest conductor. My first thoughts turned to my own children who were in 4th and 6th grade when I was writing the commission. I wanted to write a piece of music that would resonate with young singers without being trivial. My son brought home a picture of himself he created in school with the following quote: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” It has become one of my favorite quotes and I will always associate it with my son because he is kind to everyone he meets. My daughter also helped me with the process of selecting texts by sharing a screenshot on her iPad that read: “Throw kindness around like confetti.” My daughter models this with her exuberant and passionate personality.

TEXT

In a world where you can be anything, be kind.  — unknown

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle. — attributed to Plato (and others)

Throw kindness around like confetti. –unknown

If you can’t be kind….be quiet. — unknown

In a world where you can be anything, be kind. — unknown

PERFORMANCE NOTES

All singers begin the work singing in unison. The choir can be divided into two equal parts for the sections that are written with two vocal lines. Three-part divisions are required for measures 21-28 and measures 83-94.

Singers are encouraged to throw confetti in the B section (measures 29-53) each time they sing the word “kindness” (subject to the discretion of the conductor).  An alternative to throwing confetti would be to have the singers throw their hands in the air (as if they were throwing confetti) and lower them slowly (think jazz hands) over the course of 2 or 4 beats. All singers should have one final throw (or pretend throw) with the big “ta-da” chord in measure 53.

Be Kind is published with Heritage Music Press:

https://www.lorenz.com/choral/school/be-kind

The beautiful tone of the young singers that brought this piece to life in May, 2018 is a memory that I will forever cherish. I am particularly grateful to ACDA MN for this opportunity to write a timely and relevant work for an All-State vocal ensemble.

 

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