by Susan Hotchkiss

“Over my head, I hear music in the air…There must be a God somewhere.” This African American spiritual is one of my favorites, dating back somewhere between 1750 and 1875. It is set as a five verse “zipper” song in hymn #30 in our grey hymnal, Singing the Living Tradition. The verses tell the story: I hear music; I hear singing; I see trouble; I feel gladness; I see angels.

Indeed, music is happening in the air these days with plenty of birdsong coming from the sky and bushes. I listen to the dialogues of our feathered friends, and the cries are full of singing, trouble, gladness, and angels. The birds themselves fly and sing like angels. So many musicians and composers have tried to capture birdsong, from the plaintive solo of a Native American flute to the complex texture of a symphony by Olivier Messiaen.

I often think about nature as the muse for the music of springtime awakening. How does the month of April call to you?  

Susan Hotchkiss, Director of Music