This I Believe Rhode Island: Singing

Jun 7, 2016

Music is so central to many of our lives.  Isn’t it the case that certain songs instantly bring back poignant memories, some joyous, some humorous, some melancholy?  Sometimes, belting out a tune can be remarkably cathartic, a way to cope with anxiety or to celebrate life’s sweet moments.  Even Plato had something to say about it: “Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.”  And 13-year-old Gianna Paratore has reached much the same conclusion.

Gianna Paratore is in the seventh grade at the Gordon School in East Providence.  She lives with her family in Warren.

John Bender / RIPR

Earlier this month dozens of musicians from across New England and beyond gathered in Providence for the eleventh annual ‘Rhode Island All-Day Sacred Harp Singing.’ If you’ve never heard of it, here’s a clue: it doesn’t involve any harps.  It's the subject of this month's Rhode Island Artscape.

That’s the sound of about one hundred people, gathered at the Quaker Meeting House on the East Side of Providence.  They’re taking part in the state’s largest gathering of Sacred Harp singers.  The eleventh annual ‘Rhode Island All-Day Sacred Harp Singing.’

John Bender / RIPR

Elementary, middle and high school students from across Rhode Island are storming the State House this month to perform music for the holiday season.

The holiday concerts are part of a series put on by the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, with up to three or four schools singing in a row, in the Statehouse Rotunda.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender caught a few of those concerts and has this audio postcard.

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