David Haines

NCFO Science Festival Chorus Songs by David Haines

David Haines

Trained at Bristol University, London's Guildhall School, and Banff School of Fine Arts,
David Haines has written fifteen music theater works, including The Puzzle Jigs, which was
performed by NCFO in 2003 and 2008. He has worked with many thousands of schoolchildren
and has a special interest in using song to enhance the science curriculum. The NCFO Science
Festival Chorus performed David's science oratorios Lifetime: Songs of Life and Evolution
in 2007 and 2012 and Powers of Ten in 2008 and 2014. The latter was the official opening
event of the first USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington DC. David has been the
Cambridge Science Festival's Songwriter-in-Residence from 2011 to 2019. He lives and teaches
in Teignmouth, Devon in southwestern England, a stunningly beautiful town that is well
worth visiting.

Since its founding in 2007, the NCFO Science Festival Chorus has performed 75 songs by David Haines, as well as 51 songs written by David in collaboration with young children during his songwriting workshops in the Cambridge Public Schools.

*Lyrics by Rachael Shearmur


Songs written with young school children - Every year from 2007-2019, David Haines worked with about 50 classrooms in the Cambridge schools, guiding the students as they wrote a song about some aspect of their science curriculum. And each year since 2012, the NCFO Science Festival Chorus has performed a medley of these songs arranged by David Haines.

  • 2012 Medley (for Lifetime)
    • Insects - Graham and Parks, 1st/2nd grade
    • Rainforest - Amigos, 1st grade
    • Mealworms - King, 2nd grade
    • Animal, Number, Legs - Peabody, Junior Kindergarten
    • Sad Dinosaur Song - Haggerty, Kindergarten
    • Volcano Island - Graham and Parks, 1st/2nd grade
    • Mothers and Babies - Tobin Montessori, ages 3-6
    • Taste - King, 1st grade
    • Making Maple Syrup - Haggerty, 1st grade
           performance / performance with slide show
  • 2013 Medley (for H2Oratorio) | DEMO
    • Water and Sand (Amigos, Junior Kindergarten) - how sand changes when it gets wet
    • Watery Seasons (Graham and Parks, Junior Kindergarten) - water's role throughout the year
    • Water from Drips to Oceans (Fletcher Maynard Academy, Kindergarten) - how we interact with water
    • About Liquids (Haggerty, 2nd grade) - buoyancy, viscosity and toxicity
    • Great White Shark (Baldwin, 1st grade) - Carcharodon carcharias, dude!
           performance / performance with slide show
  • 2014 Medley (for Powers of Ten) | DEMO
    • Amphibians Are Really Grand (Graham and Parks, 1st and 2nd grades) - Frog skins are smooth
    • Discovering My Body (Morse, 1st grade) - What's inside?
    • Wandering Albatross (Amigos, 1st grade) - I fly a thousand miles a day
    • Gravity Waltz (King Open, 3rd and 4th grades) - Gravity prevents us flying up off the floor
    • Science Is Real (Baldwin, Junior Kindergarten) - A paean to the scientific method
           performance / performance with slide show - Narrator: Kailash Nakagawa
  • 2015 Medley (for A Little Light Music) | DEMO
    • Lettuce in the Closet (Morse, 1st grade) - plants need water and light to survive
    • Photosynthesong (Vassal Lane US, 7th grade) - 6 CO2 + 6 H2O + sunlight = C6H12O6 (sugar) + 6 O2
    • Shadows (Peabody, 4th grade) - our atmosphere scatters light, making our shadows less dark
    • Lights at Night (King Open, 1st/2nd grade) - moon, stars, and fireflies!

    • Phases of the Moon (King Open, 3rd/4th grade) - new, crescent, quarter, gibbous, full, and back again
    • Lights through the Day (Baldwin, 1st grade) - our miraculous eyesight guides our day
           Broad performance / performance with slide show
  • 2016 Medley (for Giants of Science) | DEMO
    • To Be a Scientist (Baldwin, 1st grade) - The scientific method, from formulation of a hypothesis to publishing your results
    • Newton's Laws (King Open, 1st/2nd grade) - It was Isaac Newton (1643 - 1727) who wrote, "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."
    • Through My Magnifying Glass (Amigos, Kindergarten) - Without tools to assist observation, a scientist is limited indeed.
    • Unsung Hero (Baldwin, 2nd grade) - Without Michael Collins (1930- ) staying in the Lunar Orbiter, Neil Armstrong (1930-2012) and Buzz Aldrin (1930- ) never could have been the first men to walk on the moon.
    • Strobe (Haggerty, 4th grade) - Legendary engineer Harold "Doc" Edgerton's (1903-1990) exhibits of strobe technology still grace the hallways at MIT.
    • What Happened to the Marigolds? (Fletcher Maynard Academy, Kindergarten) - As we saw with Michelson and Morley, negative results don't necessarily make an experiment a failure.
           performance / performance with slide show
  • 2017 Medley (for Singin' of the Rain)
    • Weather Wonder (Baldwin, 1st grade) - All types of weather are caused by energy from the sun | DEMO
    • My House Fell Down (Graham and Parks, 4th grade) - Ocean level rise causes beach erosion, which is sometimes quite destructive | DEMO
    • Cloud, Mist, Fog and Smog (Peabody, 1st grade) - What’s the difference between cloud, mist, fog and smog? | DEMO
    • My Lucky Day (King, 4th grade) - It's amazing how many calamities 4th graders can imagine befalling them in a single day | DEMO
    • Story of a Molecule (Kennedy-Longfellow, 5th grade) - Most of the water molecules on Earth have been water for billions of years | DEMO
           performance / performance with video and slide show
  • 2018 Medley (for Web of Life)
    • Persnickety Zoo (Fletcher Maynard Academy, Junior Kindergarten) - Most creatures have adapted to feed on specific members of their ecosystem | DEMO
    • Dandy's Song (Haggerty, 1st grade) - You can find plants growing in the strangest places! | DEMO
    • Gardener and Worm (Graham and Parks, 2nd grade SEI) - Best of friends! | DEMO
    • Amazon Layers (Haggerty, Kindergarten) - More than half the terrestrial species on Earth are believed to live in rainforests | DEMO
           performance / performance with slide show
  • 2019 Medley (for One Whole Step for Man) | DEMO
    • Planetary Family Tree (Graham and Parks, 1st grade) - The planets of the solar system are named for characters in Greek and Roman mythology
    • Unsung Hero (Baldwin, 2nd grade) - Without Michael Collins staying in the Lunar Orbiter, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin never could have been the first to walk on the moon
    • Guinea Pig on the Moon (Graham and Parks, 2nd grade) - Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation predicts guinea pigs will weigh different amounts on different planets, proportional to the mass of the planet divided by its radius squared. For the moon that works out to about 1/6 Earth's gravity
    • Ruff Ruff Universe (King, 4th grade) - Sirius, the Dog Star, is a binary star in Canis Major and is the brightest star in the night sky. It is one of the closest stars to Earth, but still 50.6 trillion miles away (pay no attention to those other digits, they're not significant)
    • A Little Push Goes a Long Way (Baldwin, 1st grade) - If you think you know what gravity is, Einstein's Theory of General Relativity will quickly disabuse you of that notion
           performance / performance with slide show
  • 2021 Medley (for 2021 Vision)
    • Animal Camouflage (Amigos, Kindergarten) - Camouflaged creatures blend in so well with their surroundings that they must use senses other than sight to find each other | DEMO
    • Howler Monkey Senses (Haggerty, Kindergarten) - Howler monkeys have calls that can be heard five km away and can smell food 2 km away | DEMO
    • My Senses in the Rain (Graham and Parks, Kindergarten) - There are unique sights, sounds, sensations, smells and even tastes that we associate with a rainy day | DEMO
    • Searching for Delicious (King Open, 3rd grade) - What we think of as "flavor" is actually a combination of smell and sweet, sour, salt, bitter and umami taste receptors | DEMO
    • Signals with Senses (Graham and Parks, 1st grade SEI) - People, like animals, use all of their senses to communicate | DEMO
           performance audio / performance with slide show