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Being Who You Are

A lighthearted romp affirming individual differences (with a touch of Shakespeare)
Commissioned by Waunakee Middle School
Winner of the KidSing Composer's Competition
Honorable Mention in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest
Elizabeth Alexander

A lively affirmation of individual differences, this song includes such unlikely compadres as the Ugly Duckling, Rudolph the Reindeer, Ruby Bridges, Susan B. Anthony, and Shakespeare!

The chorus of this song includes brief cameo appearances by a number of small percussion instruments. The score suggests jingle bells, slide whistle, duck call, ratchet, claves and guiro, but creative performers may substitute other instruments they have around - or wish to create!

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Look Listen Instrumentation/Voicing Duration Level Item Delivery Method Price Quantity SA, piano, miscellaneous percussion - Choral Score
2' ME SEA-003-01 Sheet Music
$2.25 SA, piano, miscellaneous percussion - Choral Score
2' ME SEA-003-01D Licensed PDF

Being Who You Are

Lyrics by Elizabeth Alexander, with students at Waunakee Elementary School

Rudolph the reindeer couldn’t get respect
‘Cause his nose was different from the rest.
The ugly duckling had a scrawny neck
So the others drove him from the nest.
These two, to name a few, did what they had to do.
Like you, this they knew: “To thine own self be true!”
Rudolph was a great phenomenon,
Soon that duckling turned into a swan,
You'll do fine if you just keep on being who you are.

Susan B. Anthony held aloft her sign
Even though folks said she was a fool.
And even hecklers couldn’t undermine
Ruby Bridges marching into school.
These two, to name a few, did what they had to do.
Like you, this they knew: “To thine own self be true.”
Susan called on women to arise,
Ruby’s courage opened many eyes,
Speak your truth! Don’t apologize for being who you are.

So if you wear glasses on your nose,
If you’re bald or have eleven toes,
Be the best “you” that you can be,
Tell your story with honesty,
And you’ll shine ever brilliantly, being who you are.

Composer's Note: 

I composed Being Who You Are with students from Waunakee Elementary School.  They came up with the idea that the different percussion instruments were like individual people, a metaphor which I still find moving. 

Program Notes / Performance Notes: 

Entire Student Body of Waunakee Elementary School / Kathy Bartling  * Premiere

Angelica Cantanti Children's Chorus / Ann Schrooten (Bloomington, MN)

Children's Choir of First Unitarian Universalist Church / Dema Solberg (Houston, TX)

Children's Choir of Grace Episcopal Church / Anne Matlack (Madison, NJ)

Children's Choir of Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church / Dave Simmons (Overland Park, KS)

Heather Hottman, soprano ~ KidsSing Concert, The Rose Theatre (Omaha, NE)

Treble Choir Repertoire Workshop / Andrew Ellingsen, clinician
     Organization of American Kodály Educators, Univ. of Saint Thomas (Saint Paul, MN)

Westridge School Elementary Choir / Elizabeth Hangar (Pasadena, CA)

Youth Choir of Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashua / Jed Holland, conductor (Nashua, NH)




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