“It’s perfect to sort of encapsulate this community that has been overlooked…at the same time, the spark and the resilience that I see in the people there.” -Andrea Ramsey, CU Associate Director of Choral Studies.
Andrea Ramsey, a professor of choral studies at the University of Colorado, has composed “But a Flint Holds Fire” for children’s choirs to raise awareness about the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan. As a graduate of Michigan State University, Ramsey was driven to do what she could to keep people thinking about Flint.
In 2014, Flint, Michigan fell victim to a water crisis that caused lead poisoning in many of its residents. The water crisis is indicative of what is happening around the country with contaminated water becoming an issue in many places.
“The poem is not long, it’s pretty short so I had to infuse it with words from Flint students.”
Using an 18th century poem by Christina Rosetti, “Flint,” as inspiration, Ramsey began work on the project commissioned by Chorus America for a fundraising project. She started with the poem and added in words from the students in Flint who were directly affected by the water crisis to create a powerful piece of music.
The children’s choir, Young Voices of Colorado, will be performing “But a Flint Holds Fire,” by Andrea Ramsey, on May 7th.
This story was produced for KGNU by Laila Eskin.