I’m on the elliptical at the gym, pondering the heart-nourishing, mind-sharpening experience of the first day of CWA 2015. After the emotional gravitas of hearing The Globalization of Terror and A Single Garment of Destiny, wondering anew what I can do personally, how I can help my students use their hearts, minds, skills to build inter-cultural bridges of understanding, respect and trust, I had the additional privilege to end my day with the experience of the having slogan sported for years on my car’s rear bumper: “Peace Through Music.”

Moderated by Boulder’s beloved Rebecca Folsom, the songwriters’ panel in UMC 235 wasn’t so much a “panel,” as it was a jazz quartet, with melody, solos, improvisation, interpretations and queries on heart-themes…simply beautiful. The tenderness of the communication between David Wilcox, Lillian Boutte, Tanya Ellsworth Boutte, Rebecca Folsom, a young rapper and the audience served as a model to me: this is what I, we, can do…the illustrious panel welcomed a one-minute open to healing performed acapella by the brave audience member. I left feeling strengthened, nourished, hopeful, ready to try again to love…

Quoting Leonard Bernstein after the shocking news of JFK’s assassination: “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.”

by: Leanne Soucek and Students at the #CWA2015