The text of Be Who You Are was written by the commissioning director, Bethany Unruh, as a letter to her students, describing all the joy, love, and life she witnesses in them every day.
This song was written for them, for children everywhere, and for the child in each of us, with the sincere hope that we can be reminded to experience love and joy, and to embrace life without holding back.
As the choir prepared this piece for premiere, a former Manchester Park student took his own life. This was a stark reminder that now, more than ever, we must communicate to students that they have value, and that each of their gifts brings light into our world.
This piece is dedicated to Tommy Ruff, and to every child who needs to be told today: you are magic, and you are loved. A portion of the proceeds of this title are donated to Band of Angels, a non-profit organization providing musical instruments to students in need.