Open Up Your Heart
'Open Up Your Heart' is the first studio-recorded CD from the Chicago Children's Choir. Made possible by a grant from Bank One and JPMorgan Chase, the CD features songs from around the world and a wide-variety of musical styles, such as South African folk songs, traditional classical pieces, gospel and pop. Released in December 2005, 'Open Up Your Heart' is a reflection of what the Chicago Children's Choir is all about, bringing children together from diverse racial, cultural and socieo-economic backgrounds; celebrating these diversities while setting a standard for the achievement of youth, both socially and musically. The CD begins with Vela Vela, a South African song of welcome. The Choir developed a special affinity for South African music after a traveling there in 1996. Shosholoza and Iidonga Zajericho were taught to the Choir while in South Africa. CCC alumna and now associate conductor of the Chicago Children's Choir, Mollie Stone, was so deeply moved by this trip that she devoted her college studies to South African music. Toyi Toyi and Ke Nali Monna are pieces that she brought back from her studies in South Africa and have become part of the core repertoire of the Choir. Hanuman's Heart is from the sold out, Jeff Award-nominated original world musical, 'Sita Ram;'a fusion of musical styles based on the timeless Indian epic, 'Ramayana.' Selections from 'Sita Ram' are now available on CD as well at cdbaby.com Tatkovina (a Macedonia folk song) and Svadba (from Bulgaria) are world folksongs, brought to us by friends of the Choir. Since the Choir is composed of such diverse young people, they are often our greatest sources for original music. One of our alumni sent Tatkovina to us upon his return to his native country. The unique vocal production of Svadba illustrates teaching philosophy of the Choir - which is to perform music in it's most authentic interpretation and sytle. The message of Bridge over Troubled Water and I Need You to Survive capture a fundamental element of the Choir's mission - not only do we need to love and respect each other, but we are also responsible for what happens to every person in this world. We ultimately bear the burden for human suffering and are obligated to devote ourselves to seeking justice and peace through compassion and love. Founded in 1956, the Chicago Children's Choir is a multiracial, multicultural choral music education organization, shaping the future by making a difference in the lives of children and youth through musical excellence. By starting the Chicago Children's Choir, Reverend Christopher Moore showed us that compassion and love are words of action, and that all of us are able to contribute in some way. It is not enough to simply enjoy listening and performing this music - you must be compelled to action. His action has changed the lives of thousands and thousands of young people and is indeed creating a better world. All proceeds from the sale of 'Open Up Your Heart' will benefit the Chicago Children's Choir.