When I learned of Susan Klingler’s cancer diagnosis, I asked her to select a favorite poem for me to set in her honor. She chose “i thank You, God” by e.e. cummings. I finished the piece in a weekend, and we quickly gathered an ensemble of 50 singers and instrumentalists (most from our community) to rehearse and record the piece so that Susan could listen to it during her final months. We dubbed ourselves the “Blue True Dream Team” in reference to a phrase from the poem. Susan attended the recording session with her family.  It was a beautiful outpouring of love and support and a memory I will always treasure. Click on small photos below, including the Facebook post, to enlarge and see them more clearly.

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My daughter Abby with her remarkable high school English teacher, Susan Klingler.
Over 50 people joined in on the recording of “i thank You God” for Susan. Since many were out of town, we created a closed Facebook site in order to disseminate information and post practice materials. This was Susan’s post following the recording session. (Clicking on this picture will enlarge it, making the post more legible)

Bella Voce women’s choir of Northwest Nazarene University premieres “i thank You, God” in Nampa, Idaho with Judy Marlett, mezzo-soprano soloist.

Our jam-packed rehearsal room! What a great ensemble, comprised of remarkable women who were related to or influenced by Susan in some way. (photo by Lois Good)
Blue True Dream Team Altos (photo by Lois Good)
Blue True Dream Team Second Sopranos (photo by Lois Good)
Blue True Dream Team First Sopranos (photo by Lois Good)
Conducting the recording session (photo by Lois Good)
Debbie Chinworth, soprano soloist for the recording session (photo by Lois Good)
So many women poured their hearts into our recording. (photo by Lois Good)
Our little “orchestra” (string quartet w/oboe) at the recording session (photo by Lois Good)
The Blue True Dream Team recording “i thank You God” for Susan, to whom the piece is dedicated. (photo by Lois Good)
Derrick Golden, our recording engineer (photo by Lois Good)
Our lovely Susan observing the recording session. (photo by Lois Good)
Susan with her family, attending the recording session (photo by Lois Good)
So many hugs. A room overflowing with love and gratitude. (photo by Lois Good)
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Susan gave me this scarf in appreciation for my composition. It has two colors: Blue (for the “blue true dream” in e.e. cummings poem) and Purple (for those affected by pancreatic cancer). I always remember her incredible strength and joyful spirit when I wear it.
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Judy Marlett premiering “i thank You God” with Bella Voce women’s chorus from NNU
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Premiering “i thank You God” in Idaho
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Judy Marlett premiering “i thank You God” with her Bella Voce women’s choir at Northwest Nazarene University