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Being Who You Are

Cover art by Olga Bolotova
(a.k.a. HelgaLin)  Licensed by Shutterstock

A lighthearted romp affirming individual differences (with a touch of Shakespeare)
Commissioned by Waunakee Middle School
Winner of the KidSing Composer's Competition
Honorable Mention in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest
Elizabeth Alexander

A delightful affirmation of individual differences, this lighthearted romp includes such unlikely compadres as the Ugly Duckling, Rudolph the Reindeer, Susan B. Anthony, the Wright Brothers and Shakespeare.

Technical issues?  Other than rounding up a batch of percussion instruments and getting kids to remember when they're supposed to play them, there are no noteworthy performance challenges.  (Just have fun!)

Look Listen Instrumentation/Voicing Duration Level Item Price Quantity SA, piano, miscellaneous percussion - Choral Score
2'00" ME SEA-003-00 $1.75
Sheet Music SA, piano, miscellaneous percussion - Choral Score
2'00" ME SEA-003-00D $1.25
Licensed PDF

Being Who You Are

Lyrics by Elizabeth Alexander, with students at Waunakee Elementary School

Rudolph the reindeer took a lot of flak
'Cause his nose was different from the rest.
The ugly duckling had a scrawny neck
So the others kicked him from the nest.
These two, to name a few, did what they had to do.
Like you, this they knew: "To thine own self be true!"
Rudolph was a great phenomenon,
Soon that duckling turned into a swan,
You'll do fine if you just keep on being who you are.

Susan B. Anthony fought for women's rights
Even though folks said she shouldn't try.
And no one would believe the brothers Wright
When they said that they were going to fly.
These two, to name a few, did what they had to do.
Like you, this they knew: "To thine own self be true."
Susan B., stand up and take a bow,
Airplanes are a dime a dozen now,
When you try, you'll succeed (and how!), being who you are.

So if you wear glasses on your nose,
If you're bald or have eleven toes,
You will find that your best side shows,
(There's no reason to strike a pose!)
You'll do fine, everybody knows, being who you are.

Composer's Note: 

I composed Being Who You Are with students from Waunakee Elementary School.  They came up with the idea that the different percussion instruments were like individual people, a metaphor which I still find moving.  They originally used used sandblocks, claves, sleigh bells, slide whistles, and castanets, as indicated in the score, but creative performers may substitute any instruments they can find (or create).

Program Notes / Performance Notes: 

Entire Student Body of Waunakee Elementary School / Kathy Bartling  * Premiere

Angelica Cantanti Children's Chorus / Ann Schrooten (Bloomington, MN)

Children's Choir of First Unitarian Universalist Church / Dema Solberg (Houston, TX)

Children's Choir of Grace Episcopal Church / Anne Matlack (Madison, NJ)

Children's Choir of Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church / Dave Simmons (Overland Park, KS)

Heather Hottman, soprano ~ KidsSing Concert, The Rose Theatre (Omaha, NE)

Treble Choir Repertoire Workshop / Andrew Ellingsen, clinician
     Organization of American Kodály Educators, Univ. of Saint Thomas (Saint Paul, MN)

Westridge School Elementary Choir / Elizabeth Hangar (Pasadena, CA)

Youth Choir of Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashua / Jed Holland, conductor (Nashua, NH)




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