In time the Rockies may crumble, Gibraltar may tumble
They’re only made of clay
But our love is here to stay
– George and Ira Gershwin
Two lovers dance along the banks of the Seine, the city eerily quiet. The film is the joyous classic “An American in Paris” (1951), but the song, “Love is Here to Stay,” has a melancholy history. It was the final piece of music written by George Gershwin before his untimely death, in 1937, at the age of 38. Lyrics were posthumously penned by Ira Gershwin, in tribute to his brother.
This week, Todd Decker, chair of music in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, and Kelly Daniel-Decker, teacher of applied voice, launched the department’s new “Musical Postcards” video series with an intimate living room performance of the Gershwin standard.
“Kelly and I chose ‘Love is Here to Stay’ because it speaks to both the future and the enduring relationships that sustain us — even when the world seems to be falling apart,” Decker said. “It’s also just a great song.”
Decker explained that, as music coursework, scholarship, lessons and even ensembles continue online as the university works to help stop the spread of COVID-19, the “Postcards” series will help the department maintain its commitment to public performance. The series will feature at least one new faculty or student video each week through the end of the semester.
“We present around 150 events annually and, in recent years, our audiences have grown tremendously,” Decker said. “The Great Artists Series alone has more than 300 subscribers. It’s important to stay in touch with all of our supporters and to continue to offer musical performances that bring us together.
“We’re especially excited to give graduating seniors a chance to be heard,” Decker added. He explained that undergraduates typically spend months, if not years, building toward senior recitals. Though the “Postcard” performances are not full concerts, he hopes they will provide a similar moment of celebration.
“We couldn’t let our seniors go without hearing from them in some way.”