LIGHT: Folk chorale announces song competition winner

Canadian McRae based in Nashville

Nashville-based Linda McRae and her song "Be Your Own Light" has won the 2017 songwriting competition by the Family Folk Chorale of Arlington.

Family Folk Chorale logoThere were 29 entries from all over the U.S., including Florida, Texas, Illinois, Tennessee, New York, Indiana, North Carolina, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

In a news release, the chorale called "Be Your Own Light" a song for the ages. It's a rousing, bluesy and gospelly tune in which McRae sings from the heart that ... when the world is dark, you have to be your own light.

McRae's song has been arranged for chorus by the group's artistic director, Chris Eastburn, and will be performed by the Family Folk Chorale at the 3 p.m. Sunday, March 19, concert, at Town Hall. Titled "Imagine," the event features the joy of the Beatles in the 1970s and carves out a moment in the program for the deep and energetic inspiration of "Be Your Own Light."

"Rehearsing Linda's song has been a stirring experience for our singers," Eastburn said in the release. "It speaks to the light inside each of us, and implores us to stand up for what is right and to make a difference in the world. It couldn't be more appropriate for this time and place, and we are so fortunate to perform it for Boston audiences with the songwriter, our 60-member chorus (ages 2 to 72) and band."

McRae is a Canadian recording artist, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose musical career spans three decades. She is also a 2016 "Pioneer" inductee in the British Columbia Entertainment Hall of Fame.

Performing on guitar, banjo, accordion and PorchBoard, Linda offers a warm and world-weary voice, unforgettable melodies, thought-provoking lyrics and sophisticated musicianship make her one of Canada’s most captivating and sought-after artists. Her stories are stand-alone gems, sketching out solitary men as convincingly as forthright female romantics. For ore information about McRae, click here >>  

Now in its fifth year, the chorale's songwriting competition has created a unique opportunity for collaboration between songwriter, arranger, conductor and chorus. Most songwriters rarely get to hear their songs performed by other singers. Yet in this competition, the winning song is professionally arranged and performed with a 60-voice, multigenerational ensemble. It is no wonder why the competition has attracted the attention of songwriters throughout the United States.

The Arlington-based chorale was founded in 1999 with the belief that everyone can sing and that people of all ages singing together is powerful music. The chorale is a multi-generational group of more than 60 singers of all ages and a band comprised of some of Boston's most versatile musicians. Skillful and sensitive arrangements by director Eastburn provide opportunities to hear individual voices in solo and small groups, as well as harmonically rich, full ensemble refrains.

This news announcement was published Wednesday, March 15, 2017.