When I Sing to Make You Dance was commissioned by Polly Murray and ChildrenSong of New Jersey to provide artistic expression for emerging mixed choirs. The ranges are ideal for newly changed and developing voices. An energetic piano accompaniment features subtle suspensions that provide a harmonic and rhythmic underpinning for the singable vocal lines. The addition of the soprano solo and flute obbligato allow for an accessibly rich texture. The director may consider engaging a dancer, adding yet another visual element that reinforces the text.
Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) was a Bengali writer, painter, and musician perhaps best known for his poetry. In 1913, he became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize for Literature for his work. Gitanjali (Song Offerings), is comprised of 103 English poems dealing with a metaphysical nature of union. From this larger work, the text for When I bring to you colour’d toys, my child is used as the foundation of this choral work. The imagery suggests the beauty of singing and its capacity to elicit to a larger union among individuals, nature, and the world at large.
Regardless of race or creed the abundance that is found in the reality of the present moment is augmented by regular exposure to the arts. The capricious nature of time in the age of immediacy is that it is entirely flexible. Experience suggests that exposure to natural beauty, such as watching sunrise unravel over the sea or a cloud formation sweep through a mountain range, allow an individual to feel part of something greater than themselves. Music has the ability to take time and slow it down, revealing to the participant their part in the whole. Taking part in choral music, whether as an audience member, singer, conductor, or composer, is an opportunity to slow down time long enough to allow the beauty of life to catch up with you.