From “Glee’s” 3rd season and the graduation album, Roots Before Branches opens with a reflection on the feelings of doubt that every young person experiences when facing an unknown future, but soon transitions into a powerful and uplifting refrain that expresses hope and confidence. “Roots before branches, to know who I am before I know who I wanna be, and faith to take chances to live like I see a place in this world for me.” A fantastic choice for graduation!
Recorded by Barbra Streisand, What Matters Most is an elegant and heartfelt song, almost classical in style, with a warm, acoustic accompaniment and a simple, direct lyric that celebrates the power of love in our lives.
The traditional Celtic blessing is well-known and loved in many different versions, and the setting Deep Peace by Brian Tate will be especially effective as a gentle closing number or encore for school and community choirs. Easily learned, it offers opportunities to teach flowing lines, diction and dynamic contrast.
Inspired by the words of the Native American Crowfoot, the introspective text of What Is Life? by Greg Gilpin contemplates the meaning of life. Anchored with enduring musicality that builds to a dramatic peak and concludes with the soft realization that “life is the moment, that alone.”
A traditional Irish blessing is given a thoughtful treatment by Victor Johnson in May the Road Rise to Meet You. Lyrical vocal lines and a gently flowing accompaniment provide a heart-felt closure to any concert, graduation, or gathering, and the optional oboe obbligato adds warmth to this elegant setting suitable for school or church use.