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South Hadley Children's Chrous prepares for concert

Date: 2/3/2009

By Lori Szepelak


SOUTH HADLEY The South Hadley Children's Chorus will present an energizing program of songs and poems titled "All You Need Is Love" on Feb. 14 at 3 p.m. at the Children's Museum at Holyoke.

The 50-minute performance is free and does not require museum admission.

Catharine Melhorn, chorus director, and pianist Barbara Lissandri, will lead the children in a variety of songs, from folk and classical traditions to the Beatles.

"The performance is our first at the Children's Museum," Melhorn said during an interview with Reminder Publications. "We hope it will attract kids and families who haven't heard the chorus sing before."

The program includes Handel's "Oh, had I Jubal's Lyre" in praise of music, John Lennon's "All You Need Is Love," "Somos el Barco," with words in Spanish and English, acknowledging how we depend on each other, and a recitation of love poems by Shel Silverstein, Nikki Giovanni and others. In addition, children will perform "Metsa Telegramm" by Estonian composer Uno Nasoo, urging us to love and save the forests, "The Ashgrove," a Welsh folk song lamenting the loss of a young love, and "Dodi Li," a lively love song in Hebrew, from the Bible's Song of Solomon.

"The performance also includes fun songs for the audience to sing-along, celebrating love of country, baseball, friends and more," Melhorn added.

The chorus is comprised of 30 boys and girls, ages seven to 14, from South Hadley, Granby, Holyoke, Sunderland, Shutesbury and Southampton.

Melhorn noted that the children will also be taking center stage this spring with a March 7 appearance in Amherst with percussionist Tony Vacca to benefit Not Bread Alone, a March 15 concert with the South Hadley Chorale at Mount Holyoke College, and participation in Mahler's "3rd Symphony" at Smith College on April 19, and in "Carmina Burana" with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra on May 9.

"What wonderful opportunities for these relatively young kids to experience the world of classical music and to meet the high standards musically and socially required in such collaborations," Melhorn said.

Chorus members are also planning a second annual school-day tour in mid-May, performing for area elementary school and senior center audiences.

Partially subsidized by modest parent fees and by the adult South Hadley Chorale, the chorus is also assisted this year by grants from the South Hadley Cultural Council, the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and several corporate sponsors.

For more information on the chorus, contact Melhorn at