When I get to heaven, I expect the choir of angels to be singing a cappella. At least, I hope so, though God can certainly arrange it anyway he likes.

I had one early Christmas treat this season, thanks to the annual open house at Heritage Square, which always features music from several groups of school musicians.

They share their talents thanks to some dedicated music teachers in Texas City and La Marque who are absolutely marvelous at coaxing the best out of our brightest children.

I’m ever thankful that we’re lucky enough to have schools that are able to teach not only the three Rs, but all kinds of arts. Not all schools are able to do that these days. So kudos to the teachers and special wonderful applause to members of the school board who not only allow, but insist, that we get all the best of everything.

What started this paean of praise was a performance by the choir from Texas City High School. They sing a cappella, which you probably know is without any instrumental accompaniment.

Instruments are OK, of course. But a cappella is special.

You take a blend of four voices singing four notes that make a chord that just rings and sings. It’s magical.

A barbershop quartet, with tenor, lead, baritone and bass, can sing a chord that you just can’t believe. It’s fabulous. This can happen in both a men’s and women’s quartet, or chorus. I was in on this, years ago.

An a cappella choir, with soprano, alto, tenor and bass, can do the same thing. They depict the sounds of the angels, I guess. Church choirs, for instance.

Then there are teenaged musicians, like the children from Texas City, whose leader has taught them how to sound like a whole heaven full of archangels.

I got to do this, also, many, many, many years ago.

After the young people sang, I told their leader how marvelous they are, and how much I loved the blend of voices with no accompaniment.

I got a big hug.

I also congratulated the male leader of a group of La Marque elementary students, mostly girls, who lovingly led them through songs that also included a little dancing.

The whole day began with a lady who directed singing and instruments in a performance from Levi Fry Intermediate School.

All these musical leaders do more than teach. They build these students into confident performers.

They all deserve our loud applause.

Cathy Gillentine is a Daily News columnist. She may be reached at cathy.gillentine@comcast.net.

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Bailey Jones


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