Craig sisters pay tribute to late mother at spring concert
“Mr. (John) Bolton told us last night to let our souls sing. And we did.”
— Kaitlen Bird, 18, on performing a song Thursday with her sisters Rebekah and Christa in memory of their late mother, Sherry Bird.
The audience that filled the Moffat County High School auditorium sat silent Thursday night as sisters Rebekah, Christa and Kaitlen Bird began to play.
Up until this point in the spring band concert, the combined voices of brass, strings, drums and woodwinds reverberated through the auditorium as Craig Middle School and MCHS band members performed rousing marches and slower, deeper pieces.
But as the trio’s clear notes of trombone and French Horn alone blended together in a rendition of “Three Precious Gifts,” the mood in the auditorium changed.
Although about 600 people filled the auditorium that night, Christa, 13, Rebekah, 14, and Kaitlen, 18, dedicated their music to one person: their late mother, Sherry Bird.
The performance expressed “how we felt about our music and our mom and our love of music,” Rebekah said.
John Bolton, Craig Middle School and MCHS band director, chose the song for the sisters after they approached him last year with a request, he said.
They wanted to perform together for their mother, who was battling cancer.
“She was so excited to see us play,” Christa said.
This year’s spring concert seemed the best time for performance.
“She wanted us to do a song together because I was graduating and this would be the only time we really could,” Kaitlen said.
Their time was unexpectedly cut short.
Sherry Bird died Jan. 24.
She was 46.
Rebekah, Christa and Kaitlen weren’t alone in their loss.
“We’ve kind of been in it with them,” Bolton said.
In his eyes, the sisters’ performance Thursday spoke to their resilience in the face of difficulty.
“These are three girls that have had a hard go of it the last couple years and shined brilliantly in spite of it,” he said.
Their music touched a chord that resonated throughout the audience.
A standing ovation greeted the sisters as they concluded the song, and several audience members who stood to applaud them smiled through tears.
“It was a really sweet focal point for everybody involved,” Bolton said. “I think that it was very well received.”
What Rebekah, Christa and Kaitlen couldn’t communicate in words, they could in music.
“Mr. Bolton told us last night to let our souls sing,” Kaitlen said Thursday after the concert. “And we did.”