The Rockford High School Advanced Women's Choir performs Andrea Ramsey's "But A Flint Holds Fire" last November in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

At this time three years ago, water contaminated with lead was flowing into homes in Flint, Michigan.

University of Colorado Boulder assistant director of choral studies and composer Andrea Ramsey.

(Courtesy of Andrea Ramsey)

This public health crisis stunned composer Andrea Ramsey of Boulder, so she wrote a choral piece about it titled “But A Flint Holds Fire.” It begins with a poem of the same name written by English poet Christina Rossetti in the 1800s that compares the beauty of gemstones to a flint lying in the mud. Ramsey then combines the poem with the words of Flint’s teens describing how the water crisis affected them.

Colorado Young Voices will perform “But A Flint Holds Fire” during their spring concert on Sunday, May 7. They are among youth choirs around the country that have recently been showcasing the piece commissioned by Chorus America, an organization that advocates for choral music and choirs.

Ramsey spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner.