What Brings Us Together
by Jake Lewis
March 10, 2020
Music is a part of our daily lives here at Camp Glen Brook. Singing blessings at each meal, whistling tunes while doing chores, and ending each day with group singing, brings rhythm and joy to our days together at camp. But beyond Summer Camp’s Music Night and Saturday Night Entertainment, Glen Brook has also been home to high-caliber musical groups who seek inspiration from the bucolic beauty of our campus. Here’s a little story about one such group, and the community-building power of music:
Our staff recently attended the Mendenhall Benefit Concert at the Waldorf School of Lexington, led by Leah Bartell, the school’s Music Director. If you have the chance to attend, you should. The abundance of musical gifts connected to that school was astounding, and the 95 minutes passed all too soon. One piece was particularly moving: a series of Danish folk songs called the Sonderho Bridal Trilogy arranged by the Danish String Quartet. Leah and three others performed the pieces, which in three parts evoked the sweetness of early marriage, the sourness of parting and heartache, and the bitterness of death’s final separation from your partner.
When we spoke with Leah after the show, we mentioned we were from Camp Glen Brook. “Camp Glen Brook?” exclaimed Leah. “I love that place; I was just there!” She explained that she had joined a musical retreat that takes over Glen Brook’s campus for a few days, filling into any available space and grouping up amongst themselves to play different pieces. While she was here, her son heard some familiar folk songs being played in the barn, so he grabbed his violin and sat down to join them not long before Leah caught up. The music was none other than the Sonderho Bridal Trilogy, though arranged in a way that she had not heard before. “So those pieces you heard tonight,” she said, “I was inspired to prepare them for this concert while I was at Glen Brook!”
What a treat to be on both ends of the community-building power of music: to steward the place that inspired such an inspiring piece of music, and to get to hear it performed months later!