So much has happened since late February, the date of the Singers’ last in-person concert. COVID-19 has sickened many neighbours and disrupted all our lives, making us realize how much we rely on each other. Then, just as we seemed to have “flattened the curve” together, we saw graphic documentation of violence against people of colour, which sparked an outcry for justice. And throughout this time, the Peterborough Singers could not meet or sing together, except online. Yet all wanted to “do something” to help our community, locally and globally.
One of our first efforts was joining the “Bobcaygeon” porch sing to show support for those battling COVID-19 in that neighbouring town. The event was organized by Richard Kyle, who lives in Bobcaygeon and is the rhythm guitarist of The Tragically Hits, a tribute band. So, on April 5, with some trepidation, many in the choir participated virtually, singing along from our homes to Singer David Geene’s arrangement of “Bobcaygeon,” which he created for our Canadian Legends concert in February.
Next, we decided to mine the Canadian Legends concert for another appropriate contribution, one that would show our solidarity with those struggling for liberty, dignity, and harmony, as the song enumerates. We have performed this song many times, at our Soul II concert in February 2019 as well as at our Canadian Legends concert this February. It is Oscar Peterson’s great “Hymn to Freedom,” with lyrics by Harriette Hamilton.
We hope you listen to it and let the words speak to your heart.