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Thursday, July 09, 2015


Were it not for Miss Louise Simpson Baird, my Hamilton High School Julliard educated music teacher, I and many other alumni of Hamilton High School would never have been exposed to Kahlil Gibran, Italian opera, John Keats, William Shakespeare, Helen Steiner Rice and other cultural giants, now recognized by a relatively small minority in today's society. The above photo of St. Joachim's in Chambersburg announces the operatic presentations being presented back in 1909. Of special interest to me is the presentation of Mascagni's Cavaleria Rusticana which contains the song that "Ouise" (pronounced "Wheeze") Baird taught those of us high school students who were lovers of music. Incredibly lovely music emanated from the room 300 tower at Hamilton High School during my years there. One of the most heavenly pieces she taught us to sing was "Intermezzo from Cavaleria Rusticana," or as we called it "The Prayer from Cavaleria Rusticana." It always brought me to tears it was so beautiful as we sang the English lyrics to this ethereal musical masterpiece in incredible harmony. Certainly Mr. Mascagni is firmly leading a heavenly choir today along with Louise Baird.

1 comment:

Lee Belardino said...

like you I would not be familiar with opera had it not been for the wonderful Louise Baird. Those 2 trips that she arranged for us to go to the met tp see Aida and Il Trovotore are the one of the highlite of my 82 years. Just another one of her wonderful gifts she had.