Dear community,

From available records, we believe that the Longmeadow High School Winter Concert, Dec. 20 at 7 p.m., will mark the 60th anniversary of a very special tradition at LHS. We believe J. Alfredo Carbonell, the first choral director at LHS, introduced “The Lord Bless You and Keep You,” composed by Peter Lutkin, to his students and they performed it in 1963. His successor, Peter Thomsen, taught the piece to all LHS singers, which we still call our “SuperChorus,” and continued the tradition of singing the piece at every Winter Concert. He started inviting alumni to join current students, and that tradition continues to this day.

Although the text derives from the Judeo-Christian tradition, we are an increasingly diverse community and student body. Students of all backgrounds and beliefs find their own interpretations of the lyrics, and that’s what brings them back to sing with us year after year. At a time when our community and our world needs uplifting messages of comfort and peace, “The Lutkin Benediction” has personal meaning for everyone who sings it and, we hope, for all who hear it.

Longmeadow High School Winter Concert, Wednesday Dec. 20, 7 p.m., Mucci Auditorium at Longmeadow High School. Suggested donation is $10, all are welcome.

Kayla Werlin
Longmeadow High School music department chair and vocal music teacher