A TRIBUTE TO MR. K. GENE SIMMONDS
Southern California Youth Chorale - 1965
He lifts his hands…
and our attention is focused… and fixed,
our many voices now one
Our previous living, loving and learning
are now magnified into a powerfully, poignant gift of song.
Rhythm… Melody… Harmony… Color… Style…
Yes… One Jubilant Song… “Listen… O, Listen…”
We hail from all over,
Gifted and blessed beings
With plenty of talent to spare
And “gifts” to share….
Varying religious beliefs, ethnicities, sexual orientations, political views and races….
Seeking that “Song of the Open Road, Healthy and Free”…
Together we sing “Cantate Domino.”
He moves his arms…
And rich, full-energized expression
Breaks forth in music, poetry, drama, dance… and song…
“Glory…. Halleluia… “Truth is Marching”….
Audiences around the world
Respond with exuberant enthusiasm.
Our “broken world” is inspired…
And for that time… very much united.
In that moment we know we have experienced “wonder”…
That musical journey through every emotion…
His vision… his dream… “singing ambassadors” sharing a trip through centuries of sound.
We are fixed upon his eyes…
His face… and we know that we are blessed beyond belief…
Because K. Gene Simmonds has sung his song
We “sing on” now… in theaters, concert halls, churches, homes, campgrounds, and yes….
Even in “bathroom showers”…
(Sure wish we could “Sing in some Rain”!)
What an incredible opportunity we have been afforded
To give something back….
Because K. Gene Simmonds
Envisioned a dream and strove to realize that dream,
We’ve been able to live that dream.
To borrow a line from “Wicked”
Because we knew you – Mr. Simmonds –
“We have been changed for good…”
A POEM ABOUT MR. SIMMONDS
Southern California Youth Chorale - 1974, 1975, 1976
Standing in the wings,
The man looks on.
Tall and proud and strong
He watches as his creation unfolds.
The audience thrills to the sounds
Their greedy eyes are fed
But still they ask for more.
The man in the wings
Urges us on.
From within emanates
The power which feeds us.
For the glimmer of a smile
We would give our all.
Add the trace of a tear
And our lives are complete.