How the Amish Sing

Our client Northlawndale College Prep sent this email as a thank you, at the end of their school year, to their community of contributors. We found it interesting and impactful and wanted to share.

This is how the Amish sing. They gather in a big circle organized by gender and voice. There is no leader of song, no cantor or director. They face each other in a circle and they sing at, with and for each other.

This shift in geometry creates beautiful music. All the parts matter - the sopranos can’t make it without the basses. The timing, volume and harmonies feel organic -  so proximate are the singers and so essential is one part to the other.

Music and community emerge, indistinguishable and simultaneous. At the center is the song, or should I say the singers themselves are the song, singing at, with and for each other.

We must say thanks to each other for this past academic year, just as the Amish sing. We have to shift our Geometry of Thanks to a circle.

North Lawndale College Prep is the work of thousands of hands. We can’t make it without each other. Parents, teachers, counselors, support staff – yes. But just as much: foundations, donors, volunteers, mentors, board members, outside service providers, partner colleges, the list goes on. All of these parts – all of YOU – are essential: our timing and harmony had to be spot on for all of this to have worked.

And at the center of our circle are our students. All of our pushing, prodding, planning and execution has conspired to release THEIR voices into this grand chorus. Is there anything more beautiful than when their intellect, heart and passion for a better world harmonize?

I loved being part of our circle. I loved the proximity of our voices and how essential we were, one part to the other. And I especially loved the center of our circle, our luminous students, our hymn to the world.

So grazie for a wonderful year making music together!

John Horan
President, North Lawndale College Prep