Harold Arlen: Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Written by Chelsea Shephard


In category: Song of the Day

Published February 6, 2017

I’m delighted to be curating the NYFOS Song of the Day project on Facebook! As a singer/musician raised in a very musical household, I am finding it incredibly difficult to pick only five songs! My mother was a classical pianist. She played John Cage, Alban Berg, and Franz Schubert for her graduate recital in 1979. My father is a big-hearted character who owned a record store for 25 years in Kalamazoo, MI called The Bop Stop. He called my twin sister and I the owners, and worships the Beatles, John & Yoko, and Neil Young. Rock ‘n Roll, Daddy!

So, how to curate?? Well, for Day One I need to start at the very beginning (a very good place to start!) I have chosen for you, dear NYFOS supporters, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. You know it’s iconic, but I’ll share with you my personal attachment. I remember singing this in my basement. I had studied and practiced and finally invited my family down to hear me sing it. I’m probably 7, you’ll have to ask my dad. I remember singing my little heart out and making my mother cry. I think that may have been when I got hooked on this singing thing. I’m offering the version by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole which you’ll probably remember from the end of You’ve Got Mail. What a gorgeous voice this man has!! Also, feel free to listen to Judy if you prefer.

Somwhere Over the Rainbow
Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole

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Soprano Chelsea Shephard (formerly Morris) was praised by Opera News for her “beautiful, lyric instrument” and “flawless legato” when she performed in NYFOS’s Emerging Artist program in 2015. Come hear her in Picnic Cantata/Dinner at Eight on Feb 18 in Reston, VA or on Feb 21 in NYC.


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