Each year, our teachers and students work collaboratively on a song to perform as an entire grade school that represents our theme for the year. This year's theme was building community and a call for peace which inspired our decision to teach the World Chant Medley by Sophia and Nancy Watters.
Distance learning did not stop our plan to work collaboratively on this project. Students and teachers recorded their singing parts in their homes, and a subsequent choir in the video was created. This beautiful 5-part song is written in 5 different languages and begins with a drone "Om Mani Padme Hum," translated from Buddhist/Sanskrit mantra of compassion to mean, "The jewel in the heart of the lotus." Each part is layered on, and as you will hear in the video, they are all in different musical melodies and with different languages. The languages with the English translation are listed below.
Om Mani Padme Hum, (Sanskrit - “The jewel in the heart of the lotus”) La Ilaha, Il Allahu (Arabic - “There is no God but God”) Shalom, (Hebrew - “Peace”) Shanti (Sanskrit - “Peace”) Gloria in Excelsis Deo (Latin - “Glory to God in the Highest”) Allah-u-Abha (Arabic - “God the All-Glorious”)
“While we could not have predicted the events that have transpired in the months to follow, the need for community during this time of distancing is even more important as we look for ways to stay connected. We hope this gives you light and hope as we move into the summer months and reminds you of the community of WSP.
A huge thank you to 5th grade parent, Skip Sanders, for creating this video for us. Additionally, thanks to all of you, as parents, who have supported distance learning and helped your children engage with this project which made this possible.”
—The Waldorf School of Pittsburgh Faculty