CPR Classical presents a pair of concerts to remember Columbine 25 years later

Megan Verlee/CPR News
A columbine flower in a Denver garden.

The Columbine tragedy continues to reverberate twenty-five years later. Music, then and now, helps us heal by touching our emotions in a way words can't. Music is comforting and cathartic. It can also help pay tribute to those lost.

CPR Classical is honored to present a pair of concerts remembering the victims of Columbine. Saint Martin’s Chamber Choir and the Denver Young Artist Orchestra have joined forces with the Columbine High School Choir to present a new work by Colorado composer, Leigha Amick, called "Not Staying Long."

“When DYAO contacted me last year to discuss this proposed project with the St. Martin's Chamber Choir and the Columbine High School choir, it was sobering to realize that nearly 25 years had passed since that day,” says Amick. 

"Not Staying Long" is a line from a poem written by Rachel Scott, one of the victims of Columbine.

Just passing by
Just coming through
Not staying long
I always knew
This home I have
Will never last.

Amick, a DYAO alum, set Scott's poem to a melody for the Columbine High School Choir to sing. She then weaves that melody with another set to an English translation of Frederich Rückert's poem Oft denk’ ich, sie sind nur ausgegangen, sung by St. Martin's Chamber Choir.  “This poem was made famous by Mahler's setting of it in his Kindertotenlieder (songs on the death of children),” she says. 

“I hope that the piece can provide a space for reflection and can serve to honor the memories of those we lost.”

Please join CPR Classical’s Karla Walker and Monika Vischer for the premiere performance of Leigha Amick’s “Not Staying Long”:

  • Saturday, April 20th at Columbine High School at 7:30 p.m., hosted by Monika Vischer. St. Martin’s Chamber Choir’s “Columbine Memorial Concert.” Please note: tickets must be purchased in advance. No tickets will be sold at the school on the night of the performance. Follow this link for tickets.
  • Sunday, April 21st at Boettcher Concert Hall at 2:30 p.m., hosted by Karla Walker. DYAO’s “Songs of Strength” Concert.

CPR Classical will remember Columbine with a re-broadcast of “Remembering Columbine Through Music.” The hour-long feature tells the little-known story of how the music community jumped to action to support the Columbine High School band in the days after the tragedy, and how music comforted the grieving at the public memorial. Listen:

  • Monday, April 15 at 8 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 18 at 2 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 20 at 10 a.m.
  • Sunday, April 21 at 5 p.m.

Find something new on CPR Classical

Hear CPR Classical by clicking “Listen Live” at the top on this website, or download the Colorado Public Radio app. Listen on your radio to CPR Classical at 88.1 FM in Denver, or on radio signals around Colorado. You can also tell your smart speaker to “Play CPR Classical."