To the editor: The French vote and an ode to joy

On Sunday, May 7, the Springfield Community Chorus celebrated its 50th anniversary by performing Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, the final movement of the Ninth Symphony, with the Choral Society of Bennington, at Springfield High School.

Also on the program was John Rutter’s Distant Land. It includes these words, which the chorus sang with passionate intensity: “Swords into plowshares: can it all be true? Friends out of strangers: start with me and you. I see another time, another place. Where we can all be one, one human race. The walls will melt away. We’ll come together on this day of freedom, freedom, freedom.”

May it be so.

On the same day, France overwhelmingly elected the centrist Emmanuel Macron as president over Marine Le Pen, a right winger with the National Front, which has been associated with anti-semitism and racism. He celebrated his victory with Ode to Joy.

The Springfield Community Chorus could not have chosen a better time or better themes than peace and joy for its anniversary.

Vive la France! Vive les E’tats Unis!

John Holme

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