Posted by: Jim E | September 3, 2010

Dale Warland Singers…Hockey…You And Me…

A few years ago, I heard an interview with Dale Warland…director of the Dale Warland Singers…it is a Minnesota group but it is known both nationally and internationally…he is a master of contemporary choral music…the singers are flawless in their style, their voices blend in such a way you would call it extraordinary…he not only directed but writes choral music…he closed the Dale Warland Singers organization in 2004, though he continues to teach,  compose and direct choral music…I added his picture on the “Blue Wheat” album not because it is the best picture of him…but because I love the “Blue Wheat” album…try this song… 01 – Oh Shenandoah -trad.American

In the interview, he was asked about how the singers for his group were chosen…he said they came from all over the Midwest…they would come to Minneapolis for auditions and if chosen they would have to come there for rehearsals as well…he was asked how he chose the singers…he said all of them were soloist quality…but they had to agree to sing as a group…that is, they had to put that aside to sing in the Dale Warland Singers…that struck me in a powerful way…

I read recently about the film “Miracle”…the story about the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team winning the gold medal…I watched that game on TV and saw the unbelievable end to that whole series of games, including the game against the Soviet Union earlier…the story, I read, went like this…and if you saw the movie you will remember…Herb Brooks is shown selecting the players…and when his assistant Craig Patrick saw the list of names…he was surprised…“You’re missing some of the best players.”…Brooks responds, “I’m not looking for the best players, Craig…just the right ones.”…that comment struck me in the same way…

Just like the Dale Warland Singers…individual talent will take you so far…but a willingness to fit into the style of selfless performance would be the most important…success of the group, not individual glory was the aim…the Bible speaks of that too…I Corinthians 12:7, “the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all”…same team, not the most talented…the right people joined together to serve on the same team, to the same end…

In my former life as principal of a high school…I remember so well the group that we had there…it was a large high school…3000 kids and staff…and it took a team of people to make sure good things happened there…and we had them…I have a picture right by my desk…from 10 years ago…they were wonderful…we may not have been the smartest, the best, the most educated in the world…but we got the job done…with class, honor, integrity, love and care for the best school ever…perfect, I don’t say that…but we could see it from there!!!…we had a school where teachers could teach and kids could learn…and that is one of the highest goals a principal can have and I think we did that…and that was done by a wonderful staff of people…and because that worked, we also had a wonderful group of kids at that school…

Great things can happen when we join together to serve the same goal…and just to give you some more Dale Warland Singers…here is a short but beautiful Shaker Hymn (Canterbury Shaker Hymnal 1908)…”Not One Sparrow Is Forgotten”…(also enjoy the pictures) here’s the words:

Not one sparrow is forgotten, / E’en the raven God will feed; / And the lily of the valley / From His bounty hath its need, / Then shall I not trust Thee, Father, / In Thy mercy have a share? / And through faith and prayer, my Mother, / Merit Thy protecting care?


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