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Peggo Horstmann Hodes and new American Songweavers @ State House - 2018

“There is room at the table for everyone…

…begins a song I learned three years ago in the first “song-sharing” session between our Songweavers chorus members and New Americans learning English at Second Start.  The universal song-sharing technique of call and response continued to work its magic of friendship this November, producing laughter and hugs as they taught us songs from around the world and we shared American folk songs.  

We’re sharing these expanded cultural traditions throughout the community.  Our faculty from Nepal and our folk and jazz faculty from New England are improvising together on traditional music that has roots in South Asia and Appalachia.  Last March, four young Songweavers from Congo and Tanzania opened the NH legislative session with the American national anthem, to a standing ovation.

As Thanksgiving memories blend into holiday anticipation, you may be preparing to set the table and make room for friends and family in your home. Our musical home often expands beyond our building so that we can “make room for everyone:”

  • At Merrimack Valley Day Care, dance therapist Miss Heather works with preschoolers who are living with unusual stresses because their parents are incarcerated or have substance use disorders. She taught them a flower meditation as a tool to calm themselves as they practiced breathing deeply.
  • At Governor & Council meeting, 9-year-old Anna, a talented young singer from Wolfeboro, wowed our elected officials with her performance. At theater camp, Anna’s confidence got a mentoring boost from 16-year-old Rachel (a recent 1st place winner in the statewide musical theater competition) at lunch each day.
  • At our Bach’s Lunch concert, we celebrated the life of an audience member we knew for many years applauding her grandchildren and their friends. Her smiling presence continued at every Bach’s Lunch as she experienced dementia. Her family created the Engelke Heggie Gratefulness Fund in her memory.

In this festive season, it’s traditional to bring a gift to share at the table.

Please consider a generous gift toward this spirit of musical friendship. Your gift this year will help continue to include everyone in the joys of music-making. Look for your letter in the mail in early December, or click here to make a secure online donation.

Our thanks this month extends to you, for ensuring that our musical home continues to be expansive, welcoming, and joyful, with room at the table for everyone.


Peggy Senter
Concord Community Music School