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Growing Into Me

By Sally Whitwell

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SA, Choir SA, Piano - Early Intermediate - Digital Download
Composed by Sally Whitwell. 21st Century, Contemporary Classical. 12 pages. Published by Sally Whitwell (S0.440859).

Item Number: S0.440859

Composer’s Note - Growing into me

On a particularly blustery Winter's day, I went to the National Arboretum in my home town of Canberra, Australia, with a bunch of very lovely kids from the Woden Valley Youth Choir (WVYC). Their director Alpha Gregory had asked me to come and do a composition workshop with the kids, to which I had replied with an enthusiastic "YES!".

I'd done this kind of thing with WVYC before, but this time around I wanted to take it somehow to the next level, to give the piece a real sense of place, a specific and experiential connection to the local community or landscape, and the Arboretum seemed a natural choice for me for an inspirational excursion. I had a family connection to it myself at the time, my cousin Emma worked there and was very passionate about it. Also, it is an outdoorsy kind of place and I have such fond memories of outdoorsy exploratory kinds of activities filling my entire childhood, a very typically Canberran thing. I'm sure the WVYC kids have a similar experience and I hope they know how lucky they are!

So we put on our winter coats and scarves and hiked up the mountain, being sure to not only look at what was there, but also to listen, to touch, to smell. It was truly a multi sensory experience. Then we all went down to a local church hall and talked about what we saw and heard and smelt and the kids were just bursting with wonderful ideas for our new song. I've incorporated as many of their ideas as possible into the completed product, as well as my own over-arching theme; the oldest of the trees at the National Arboretum are only a couple of years older than some of the children in the group, so it seemed a nice parallel to make, their growing up alongside each other. It is my hope that the writing of this piece bonds these children to this important and magical place, so ripe with possibility, and that the connection is a lasting and meaningful one for them. It certainly will be for me.

-- Sally Whitwell

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