I was working on a nice post about songs to sing to babies. My throat is in a knot just writing that. Instead, I’d like to write about the daughter of two musicians I know, Ana Grace Màrquez-Greene.
Her funeral was today at the First Cathedral in Bloomfield, Connecticut, down the road from where her parents and I went to college. We all knew that her father, saxophonist Jimmy Greene, would find success. Her mother, the gorgeous, spit-fire Nelba Màrquez, was my RA. She majored in music education, and was a good flute player. A mutual friend kept me informed of the family’s life, including their move a couple of years ago to Manitoba, where Jimmy had won a professorship. They must have missed Connecticut, and moved back just this summer to Sandy Hook. Ana must have just been settling into school.
I don’t want to be part of “the media” that turns this family’s tragedy into performance art. Just a couple of music or sound images that struck me about the awful story. Namely, the teacher who herded her kids into a closet and kept them distracted by leading them in whispered “Jingle Bells” and “I Had a Little Dreydel.” It worked. Nothing like a tune.
In contrast, I think of the roaring silence the police officers must have encountered when they entered the school. The only time a first grade classroom is silent is when it is empty of children. But this time….
Ana’s “mode of transportation was to dance,” according to her obituary. She could sing clearly and in tune, which is not the case for most six-year-olds I know. This nice tribute from Global News in Toronto shows how well she could make music with her brother, Isaiah:
Jimmy and Nelba have requested donations to three organizations to honor her:
• The Ana Grace Márquez-Greene Family Therapy Fund, care of the Outpatient Clinic/Family Therapy Institute, Klingberg Family Centers, 370 Linwood St, New Britain, CT 06052 or https://npo.networkforgood.org/Donate/Donate.aspx?npoSubscriptionId=1001402&code=klingberg%20home%20page
• The Artist’s Collective, 1200 Albany Avenue, Hartford, CT 06112 http://artistscollective.org/
• The Ana Grace Màrquez-Greene Music Scholarship Fund, care of Western Connecticut State University, Office of Institutional Advancement, 181 White St., Danbury, CT, 06810 or http://www.wcsu.edu/ia/greene-scholarship.asp
In addition, friends have set up a fund to support the Màrquez-Greene family at http://anagracefund.com
But most of all, there is Jimmy’s song for her, which appeared on his 2009 album, “Mission Statement:”
Update: Here is Ana’s FB memorial page.