HOW CAN I KEEP FROM SINGING
"How Can I Keep from Singing" is an American folksong originally composed by Robert Lowry and the words are attributed to Pauline T.
For obvious reasons, I have always loved this song. I first discovered it while I was singing in college and it has been a motto of sorts for my life ever since. In 2020 when the pandemic hit and schools closed for an indefinite amount of time, my jr. high choir students were left without any sense of closure for the end of 3 years of working and learning and singing together. When it became apparent that schools would finish the year "virtually" and we wouldn't be returning to the classroom, my kids were devastated. And as a choir teacher, I really struggled with what I could do for them - how on earth do you teach online choir? So I wrote an arrangement of this song, and my 9th graders learned it on their own and recorded themselves singing it so I could put it together as a virtual choir. It was my gift to them to finish our school year together. When I moved over to the high school, I was taking over a program with a 30 year choral legacy, followed by a quick succession of turnover (3 choir teachers in 4 years). I wanted to honor the existing traditions and legacy, but I also needed to create a new legacy for my program, and decided this would become our new end of year tradition. So I updated the arrangement for 4 part SATB choir and I've shared the joy of this beautiful song with my students at our final concert each year.
"Through all the tumult and the strife, I hear that music ringing; it sounds an echo in my soul. How can I keep from singing?"