2017 Singin' of the Rain


Directed by Laura Backley

during the two weekends of the Cambridge Science Festival

   Saturday April 15, 2017 at 3:00pm at the Peabody School, 70 Rindge Ave., Cambridge
   Saturday April 22, 2017 at 5:00pm at the Broad Institute of MIT & Harvard, 415 Main St., Cambridge
   Sunday April 23, 2017 at 4:00pm at the Museum of Science, Boston

The NCFO Science Festival Chorus loses a TON of money.
If you would like it to lose only 1,999 lb of money, please make a donation

Singin' of the Rain is a collection of 19 entertaining and inspiring songs climate and weather. Written by ten contemporary composers, including Andrea Gaudette, David Haines, Ruth Hertzman-Miller, Leo Hurley, Daniel Kallman, Bruce Lazarus, Tim Maurice, Lauren Mayer, Molly Ruggles and Stanley Sagov, Singin' of the Rain was performed by the NCFO Science Festival Chorus as part of the eleventh annual Cambridge Science Festival, April 14-23, 2017. Three performances also included a medley of songs composed by Cambridge Public School students under the direction of David Haines, as part of David's CPS Songwriting Workshops. The entire program was accompanied by a slideshow of song lyrics and children's artwork.

The 2017 NCFO Science Festival Chorus comprised more than 60 adults and children (ages 6 and up) from Cambridge and surrounding communities.

A complete set of lyrics from Singin' of the Rain is available HERE. You can peruse/download the program booklet HERE.

See below for demos of the music from Singing' of the Rain and information about the composers and lyricists who wrote it. Slide shows with lyrics assembeled by Carla Procaskey. Video clips insterspersed in slide show provided by Mike Nakagawa.


Andrea Gaudette

Andrea Gaudette has been playing music professionally since
age 14, when her first job carried the title "substitute organist"
for her parish church. A graduate of New England Conservatory,
she has been teaching piano, theory, composition, voice, choir,
instrumental ensembles and creative arts to children in a variety
of settings since 1988. She currently teaches music in the
Cambridge Public Schools, including the Haggerty School and the
Cambridgeport School. Andrea lives in Cambridge with her
husband and 19-year-old daughter. They have been active in
NCFO since 2006.

Singin' of the Rain features two songs by Andrea Gaudette:

  • There's a Certain Flash of Light (world premiere) – An homage to Emily Dickinson and her poem "There's a Certain Slant of Light". A thunderstorm slowly arises and then rolls away. Spark, zap, flash, rumble, zap, crash!
    [performance audio / performance with slide show / demo]
  • Water March – Water is necessary for life, but global warming is raising sea level and causing more intense storms, with catastrophic consequences for island people.
    [performance audio / performance with slide show / demo]


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
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 2017. He lives and teaches in
Teignmouth, Devon in southwestern England, a stunningly beautiful town that
is well worth visiting. If you do, David invites you to stay at his lovely Airbnb.

Rachael Shearmur

Rachael Shearmur was a member of the choir which premiered David
Haines’s Lifetime in the UK in 2004. She studied Law at the other Cambridge
and never really expected one day to be writing song lyrics. She and
David share a passion for sea swimming, and it was the bioluminescence
which they saw in the nighttime waters around David’s home town of
Teignmouth which inspired her to write a poem touching on the science
behind the phenomenon. David asked if he could set it to music, and they
have since then collaborated on a number of songs.

Singin' of the Rain features five songs by David Haines (lyrics for The Pilgrims' Problem and Vibrio Bacteria are by Rachael Shearmur), plus a collection of songs written by David in collaboration with young children during his songwriting workshops in the Cambridge Public Schools:

  • Clouds – Cirrus, cumulus, and stratus clouds look very different.
    [performance audio / performance with slide show / demo]
  • Drip, Drip – A slightly sarcastic look at how rising oceans, melting icecaps and changing climates affect many habitats, including human coastal communities. Solos by Glenn McElhoe and Andromeda Yelton.
    [performance audio / performance with video and slide show / demo]
  • Ozone Song (Fighting-Fit, Floating Phytoplankton) – A rare optimistic song about society's ability to control its deleterious effects on Earth's atmosphere. Since the late 1980s, the Montreal Protocol has limited emissions of chemicals that destroy stratospheric ozone, and the man-made ozone hole is healing, to the delight of the microorganisms who were negatively affected by it.
    [performance audio / performance with slide show / demo]
  • The Pilgrims' Problem (world premiere) – The Mayflower sailed more than 580 miles south on its journey from Plymouth, England to Plymouth, Massachusetts. So it was quite a surprise when the Pilgrims discovered the winters in their new home were much colder because the climates are different.
    [performance audio / performance with slide show / demo]
  • Vibrio Bacteria (world premiere) – Global warming increases the temperature of the ocean surface, which in turn causes blooms of vibrio vulnificus, skin infections of which are 50% fatal. Eating raw shellfish contaminated with vibrio vulnificus can also be fatal.
    [performance audio / performance with slide show / demo]
  • Songs written with young school children (world premiere) – Every year David Haines works with about 50 classrooms in the Cambridge schools, guiding the students as they write a song about some aspect of their science curriculum. These are some songs that touch on climate and weather:
    • Weather Wonder [demo] – All types of weather are caused by energy from the sun.
    • My House Fell Down [demo] – Ocean level rise causes beach erosion, which is sometimes quite destructive.
    • Cloud, Mist, Fog and Smog [demo] –What’s the difference between cloud, mist, fog and smog?
    • My Lucky Day [demo] – It's amazing how many calamities 4th graders can imagine befalling them in a single day.
    • Story of a Molecule [demo] – Most of the water molecules on Earth have been water for billions of years.
      [performance audio / performance with slide show]
 Ruth Hertzman-Miller

Ruth Hertzman-Miller is a Boston-area
physician and musician who has studied
composition with John Stewart at Harvard,
John Morrison at Longy, and Stephen Savage
at New England Conservatory. She performs
regularly with NCFO and was last seen as
the King's chamberlain Zethar in the 2017
production of Springtime for Haman.

 Meg Muckenhoupt

Meg Muckenhoupt works for OpenBiome
in Cambridge. She is widely published, but she
feels her finest work was “Horton Sees a Pluto,”
which appeared in the Annals of Improbable
Research. Remember, a planet’s a planet no
matter how small. She is delighted to hear her
lyrics debut in this year’s Cambridge Science

Singin' of the Rain features one song by Ruth Hertzman-Miller and Meg Muckenhoupt:

  • Hurricane (world premiere) – Meteorologists have excellent models to predict the strength and movement of hurricanes, but the data necessary to run the models can only be obtained by aircraft flying into the hurricane itself.
    [performance audio / performance with slide show / demo]

 Leo Hurley Leo Hurley has gained recognition with commissions and performances
spanning the United States and Europe. Mr. Hurley has had the pleasure
of writing for Maya Angelou's 80th Birthday Celebration, Grammy Award
winner Pharoah Sanders, Abingdon Theatre Company, The York Theatre,
Beyond Words Dance Company and Sonnet Repertory Theater Company with
performances Off-Broadway, as well as Alonzo King's LINES Ballet at the
La Biennale Festival in Venice, Italy. Mr. Hurley recently reached international
headlines with his new show, The Body Politic, which follows a Trans refugee
from Afghanistan as he navigates his new life in the American south.
In 2015, Mr. Hurley's opera VEAL was selected to be a part of Rough for
Opera in London, England. In 2012, ZomRomCom:The Musical, a film musical
created at UNCSA, won Best Original Score at the College Television Awards.

Singin' of the Rain features one song by Leo Hurley:

  • Currents of the Ocean (Commissioned by NCFO) – Wind, rotation of the Earth, gravitational pull of the moon and sun, and thermal, density and salinity gradients drive the complex movement of water in the oceans, with dramatic effects on coastal climates.
    [performance audio / performance with slide show / demo]

Daniel Kallman Daniel Kallman's compositions for orchestra, winds, and choir
are widely published and performed across North America,
Europe and East Asia. His steady stream of commissions includes
music for worship, theater, dance, and the young musician.
Kallman has composed for the National Symphony Orchestra,
the Air Force Academy Band, the Hong Kong Children's Choir,
the Minnesota Orchestra, A Prairie Home Companion,
and a wide variety of vocal and instrumental ensembles.
The principal publishers of Kallman’s music are Morning Star
Music (church choir), Hal Leonard (choral), Shawnee/Mark
Foster Press (children’s choir), Boosey and Hawkes (winds and
choral), and Lauren Keiser Music (orchestral). All of Kallman’s
works are catalogued on his website.
Christine Kallman Christine Kallman is a playwright, lyricist, poet and musician.
Her work has been supported and produced by arts
organizations, theaters, schools, colleges and churches. She has
taught music and theater to young people in the classroom,
theater camp, and private studio. Among her works are full-
length plays, one-acts, and musicals, including Donata’s Gift, a
holiday musical based on the Italian legend of Old Befana. Her
most recent play, A Falling Out, is set at the time of the Cuban
Missile Crisis and was presented last spring in a staged reading
supported by the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council through a
McKnight Artists Grant. In addition to writing song lyrics, Kallman
has received several commissions to write hymn texts.

Singin' of the Rain features one song by Daniel and Christine Kallman:

  • Big Ice – Most of the world's fresh water is locked in the Antarctic ice sheet. Greenland's ice sheet is so massive (2.7 quintillion kg) that its gravity raises sea level at nearby Iceland by more than 7 meters. Melting of polar ice is accelerating due to global warming.
    [performance audio / performance with slide show / demo]

Bruce Lazarus

Composer Bruce Lazarus's music includes pieces for piano, solo voice,
chorus, chamber ensembles, as well as several songs commissioned by
NCFO. His works range from the 45-minute “celestial” piano cycle, Musical
Explorations of the Messier Catalogue of Star Clusters and Nebulae, to his
entertaining Carrolling: The Lewis Carroll Project. He studied composition
at Juilliard, where he earned his B.M. and M.M. in music composition and
theory, and later earned his PhD in music theory at Rutgers University.
Dr. Lazarus is Music Director for the Joffrey Ballet School.

Singin' of the Rain features two songs by Bruce Lazarus:

 Tim Maurice

Tim Maurice is a classically trained musician working as an arranger,
music director, and pianist. He has written and recorded music for
several independent film projects, ranging from short films to web series.
His latest, “Searchdog,” screened at the 2016 Palm Springs International
Film Festival and was an audience-voted “Best in the Fest” selection.
Born in Maine, Tim attended Bates College, where he studied piano, and
Berklee College of Music, where he earned a B.M. in Film Scoring. Tim has
done orchestration and arranging work for NCFO in the past, and this is his
third original composition for the group.

Singin' of the Rain features one song by Tim Maurice:

 Lauren Mayer

Lauren Mayer is a California-based, award-winning writer and
entertainer, who has performed hundreds of custom-written
programs. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Yale University,
the founder of Curriculum Rocks (producing award-winning
children's educational music), the writer of several published
musicals, and a five-time recipient of the San Francisco Cabaret
Gold Award. She has recorded five albums of comedy songs and
writes weekly topical comedy songs for her YouTube channel with
almost 1,600 subscribers (thus disproving her teenage son’s claim
that she’d never get a channel going because ‘over 100 views is
viral for old people’).

Singin' of the Rain features three songs by Lauren Mayer:

  • Climate Zones (world premiere) – There are many ways to classify the Earth's many climates. They generally fall into three main categories: tropical (near the equator), polar (near the poles) and temperate (between these two).
    [performance audio / performance with slide show / demo]
 Molly Ruggles

A native of Massachusetts, Molly Ruggles has played
piano her whole life, composed since she was 4, and
is a vocalist and recording artist. Molly performs
regularly throughout the Boston area. She has taught
songwriting classes at MIT, and her music is featured
regularly at the UU church of Medford. When not singing,
playing, listening, teaching, composing, or writing plays,
she writes about educational technology at MIT and
spends time with her beloved daughter.

Singin' of the Rain features two songs by Molly Ruggles:

  • The Tale of Joe, Svanti and Charlie (world premiere) – Joseph Fourier, Svante Arrhenius and Charles Keeling made the key discoveries that led to our understanding of anthropogenic global warming.
    [performance audio / performance with slide show / demo]
  • Tornado (world premiere) – We don't fully understand how tornadoes form, but they are among the most destructive forces in nature, and 1200 of them touch down in the US every year. Better lie low when there's a tornado.
    [performance audio / performance with slide show / demo]

 Stanley Sagov Born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1944, Stanley Sagov is a dazzling jazz
pianist and composer who is skilled on a number of other music instruments
and who is also skilled with surgical instruments, as he simultaneously has a
full time career as a medical doctor. He constantly amazes his colleagues in
both music and in medicine with his ability to lead such an intense dual life
both as a physician and as a musician. Dr. Sagov produces enough music
to fill the contents of a full CD almost every month in his home studio. He is
also a top notch photographer who shoots nature, people and places with the
eyes of an unusually sensitive personality. Despite devoting his life to healing,
ironically Dr. Sagov is so talented it just makes you sick.
 David Bass David Bass is a composer and lyricist who feels
he needs no introduction. Many who have been
introduced to him feel the same way.

Singin' of the Rain features one song by Stanley Sagov and David Bass:

  • The Gospel of Climate Change (world premiere) – It is important to understand the difference between weather and climate and the accuracy with which we can predict each. Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get.
    [performance audio / performance with slide show / demo]