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First performance is Aaron Copland’s Ching-a-Ring Chaw, with all 800 children singing the tutti, led by Francisco. The chorus from PS/IS178Q is already on stage. We begin with a warm-up, very meditative actually, “feel gorgeous,” Francisco tells the kids. Amazingly, the kids do calm down to performance mode. Hmm, Francisco as relaxation guru? Who would have thought?

Francisco is saying the title of the song was meant to be just fun words, and children from 200 years ago have been singing the same tune. And now our children are doing the same thing. Wish the Copland Fund people were here — they also support our program and they’d agree Copland himself would have been pleased with this performance.