A TRIBUTE TO MR. K. GENE SIMMONDS

By

Don Clay

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

By

Andrea Press

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.

Inspirations