Gillian Rafter (in gray) joins fellow Willett Elementary Chorus participants as they rehearse for a Pete Seeger tribute concert, to be presented from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Davis Farmers Market. Claudia Krich is the volunteer leader of the school chorus. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise photo

Local News

Community invited to sing along in tribute to Seeger

By From page A1 | February 20, 2014

The Willett Elementary School Chorus will present a “community singalong” in honor of the late folk singer Pete Seeger on Saturday between noon and 1 p.m. at the Davis Farmers Market in Central Park.

The students and their leader, retired Willett teacher Claudia Krich, will perform on the oak tree deck just north of the main market.

Seeger — an American troubadour, folk singer and activist — died Jan. 27 at the age of 94.

Krich, who communicated with Seeger with some frequency over the years, will lead the youthful singers on Saturday and accompany them on guitar, joined by her daughters, Sophia Krich-Brinton on banjo and Airy Krich-Brinton on mandolin and recorder.

“I’d like Pete Seeger lovers to come and sing with us,” Krich said. “I’ve chosen songs associated with Pete that many people (at least people my age) probably know, including ‘So Long, It’s Been Good to Know You,’ ‘Good Night Irene,’ ‘If I Had a Hammer,’ ‘We Shall Overcome,’ ‘Where Have All the Flowers Gone?,’ ‘Study War No More’ and others.

“Pete was a humble and modest man who supported choruses like ours, and singing everywhere,” Krich said.

The famous singer even sent her a songbook of his, after she corrected some of the Spanish lyrics in it, the former Spanish Immersion teacher related.

“Pete felt — and we know, of course, it’s true — that music bridges people together. He also supported liberty, civil rights, world peace and other important and just causes,” Krich said.

“Folk music means music of the people, and he was a man who loved people, especially children. He never gave up hope and he never stopped working toward peace. Pete’s example, getting people to sing with him, is what empowered me to think I could lead a chorus.”

She added a personal recollection: “I’ll never forget when he once held and sang a lullaby to my 6-month-old daughter Sophie.”

Krich also has a grandson named Peter, “partly after Pete Seeger, and when my next-door neighbor Jesse Drew went to interview Pete Seeger, I sent along a photo of my grandson, which Jesse brought back autographed.”

Seeger performed in Davis on at least one occasion — a concert in Freeborn Hall in 1978.

— Reach Jeff Hudson at [email protected] or 530-747-8055.




Jeff Hudson

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