Making Room for Magic

Harmony in Difference

It began with a song. Last week we had the pleasure of welcoming to our campus 293 students and teachers from Kichijo Joshi, our sister school in Japan. The skies were heavy with threatening, rain filled clouds, the trees skeletal as their leaves fell in windy gusts. I couldn’t help but wonder what Kichijo students would think about this place they had traveled so far to visit. And then they arrived. They trooped off their buses and under the direction of their capable teachers and our stalwart student leaders, found themselves seats, safe from the elements, in Founders’ Hall.

And then the magic began. Our concert orchestra made up of students from both Junior and Senior School began to play and the familiar theme song from Pirates of the Caribbean resonated with the audience in a ripple of recognition. The second selection performed by the QMS concert choir, while new to us all, mesmerized us with its haunting melody. And then it was time for the Kichijo students to perform. They had selected a piece, Warabigami to perform in Japanese and they had provided us with an English translation so we could sing with them. I was skeptical…and I was wrong. The power of more than six hundred voices united together in the simple sharing of a song was a remarkable experience. In that moment, the differences among students with diverse language backgrounds and experiences disappeared. Collectively we created a moment of beauty.

The remainder of the day was equally inspiring. The student creativity generated by the desire to share thoughts and ideas and to transcend language challenges resulted in impromptu dance, chants, drawing and drama. Laughter was a constant and friendships were established that could never have happened otherwise. Magic can happen when we make room for it. While our students may have lost a few hours of class time, what they gained was an affirmation of the similarities among us that will influence them for a lifetime.

~Deborah Cook, Senior School Principal


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