Arts & Culture Maplewood Schools / Kids South Orange

VIDEO: Choir Sings ‘The Parting Glass’ in Tribute to Columbia High Class of 2020

The Columbia High School Canens Vocem Choir has provided a double farewell and a fitting end to a challenging year with their recording of the Scottish traditional song The Parting Glass.

The performance was included in the virtual graduation video as a tribute to the Class of 2020. It is also the final performance of the choir under the direction of Jamie Bunce.

The Parting Glass dates back at least to the 18th century and was reportedly the most popular song in Scotland before Robert Burns wrote Auld Lang Syne. It is sung at the end of a gathering of friends. The “parting glass” is the last drink bestowed on a departing guest.

While the tune provoked tears among the parents of many graduating seniors, the knowledge that Canens Vocem director Jamie Bunce is leaving the district makes the performance affecting on another level. Bunce is departing to pursue a doctoral degree in Musical Arts in Choral Conducting at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music. You can see her wave goodbye in the video after looking around in apparent wonder and appreciation of her choir members at 18 seconds into the video.

In a Facebook post, Bunce wrote, “I will cherish my ten years (!) at Columbia High School. MapSO is a community with a unique appreciation for the arts, and I am grateful to have had the great fortune to learn and to create with some of the best students, colleagues, and parents this world has ever seen. I will miss my CHS choir family dearly, but I will treasure forever the special memories we have created together.”

Of her choir members, Bunce says, “I am, as always, unspeakably proud of them. Here’s hoping for a bright future for them and for all of us!”

Of all the money that e’er I spent
I’ve spent it in good company
And all the harm that e’er I done
Alas it was to none but me
And all I’ve done for want of wit
To memory now I can’t recall
So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all
Oh, all the comrades that e’er I had
Are sorry for my going away
And all the sweethearts that e’er I had
Would wish me one more day to stay
But since it falls unto my lot
That I should rise and you should not
I’ll gently rise and I’ll softly call
Good night and joy be with you all
Good night and joy be with you all

 

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