Ask a student at Painted Sky Elementary School about Abraham Lincoln, and you just may end up with an earful.
Don’t be surprised if a fifth-grader sings the entire state song from the 16th president’s home state of Illinois, or if a fourth-grader recites a Lincoln quote that tends to make the students giggle:
“The things I want to know are in books. My best friend is the man who’ll get me a book I ain’t read.”
The students’ considerable grasp of Lincoln trivia is tied to an upcoming concert sponsored by the Greater Oro Valley Arts Council.
The 13th annual Concert of All Ages Intergenerational Chorale Festival, set for 7 p.m. Friday, March 6, will bring together singers young and old to celebrate the anniversary of the past president’s birth.
Choruses from Painted Sky, Cross Middle School and Canyon Del Oro High School will join with the adult Catalinas Community Chorus in recognition of what would have been Lincoln’s 200th anniversary, had the man’s body proven as long lasting as his legend.
“It’s so fun to watch those kids standing next to a grandpa or a high school senior and to see the light in their eyes as they stand up straight and sing out,” said Lisa Marcy, the Painted Sky singers’ chorus director. “They’re part of something neat — something big.”
Painted Sky’s portion of the program will include more than 20 Lincoln quotes that provide insight about the man. Interspersed with the quotes will be period appropriate songs such as “Rally for Old Abe” and “Johnny Comes Marching Home” — a Civil War song.
“The students have always been partial to ‘Johnny Comes Marching Home,’” Marcy said. “I told them why it has sentimental value. That was such a difficult time in American history, because fathers were fighting sons, and brothers were fighting brothers. Often, they were just so happy to see these relatives coming home, because many died.”
All participating choruses will perform separately, and then they will join together for large-scale finale against a backdrop of historical pictures.
Participating schools will receive all proceeds from ticket sales. Each of the three schools will sell tickets and use the money they collect for their arts and music programs. The arts council pays printing costs for programs and keeps any money from tickets sold at the event.
Next year, the arts council will invite other Oro Valley schools to participate and to receive ticket proceeds.
If you go
WHAT: Concert of All Ages
WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday, March 6
WHERE: Canyon Del Oro High School, 25 W. Calle Concordia
COST: $3 for adults, $1 for students