George Bragg

A Dedication from the Editor of Score

by Patricia Banks
(June 1971)

 

"Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man."
      - Rabindranath Tagore

I first read these words in a public library a quarter of a century ago … the next time I came across them, only a few days ago, they were written on the board in the library of THE TEXAS BOYS CHOIR. How full of meaning and hope are these words left to us by the Nobel Prize-winning poet, philosopher, and religious teacher of India. For a child does not bring into the world with him new life, new energy, a new spark of creativity to begin anew the life cycle with renewed hope that this time if might reach perfection. He brings with him the probability of succeeding in some areas where we have failed. He brings the possibility of the final resolution of age-old conflicts of mankind that have led to discord, chaos and wars since the beginning of our creation. A child is our means of continuing the search for truth, beauty, dignity, honor and justice and making these virtues a part of the pattern for living for all men. He is our hope of establishing on this earth a life of unity and peace that would reflect the love of God. He is our opportunity to continue the stream of living that is ever seeking its source, the Creator. It is no wonder that the birth of a child is celebrated with joy and gladness, for he has just come from God and he carries with him the reassurance that God will give us yet more time to measure up to His expectations. It is as if God were saying, "Here is a new life … try again."

Those of us who have children and who work with children instinctively know these things, even if we have never tried to put them into words before. For this reason we love and care for the children. We protect them, we lead them, we guide them, we teach them. We try to teach them all the many things that we have learned about life, so that they might take what it is and make it what it could be if all men lived as they should in peace and harmony. There are some who give their entire lives to the children, for they know that therein lies the hope of the world.

A few years ago I brought a child to The Texas Boys Choir, and for a short span of his lifetime he was fortunate enough to be under the guidance and influence of George Bragg, a man who has dedicated his life to the teaching of children – about music, about beauty and honor and virtue, about the need for involvement and assuming responsibility, about integrity and self-respect, denial and self-discipline about the relationships of man to man and of man to God. And because such a tower of a man – director, guide and friend – helped to mould this child during his formative hears, he is today in his own young manhood all that he was taught to be, and a reflection, in part, of his teacher. Some part of this teacher lives on in the life of every young man who has ever been a member of the Choir, for there is an indefinable essence in the character of this man that sifts into the very personality of the child and leads him to walk a higher path in life. It is as if every life that touches his is elevated to higher realms through the inspiration of his own dedicated service.

How does one pay tribute to such a person? Words are too small to encompass the reach of his personality, the stretch of his arms in gathering all together for the sharing of gifts of love and beauty. No one will ever be able to adequately measure the influence of this man’s life and work in our day and time, nor to accurately record his endless contributions to the preservation of art, culture, beauty and the spirituality of man. He give so much to each child, through the Choir and of himself, and he takes from each child, for the Choir, in order that this beauty they create together may be shared with the world for its spiritual uplifting. For himself he asks nothing.

This year completes for him a quarter of a century of dedication to the task of making the world better through music and children, and yet his service began even before that, while he was a choirboy himself, for every choirboy who shares his gift of voice most assuredly serves God and man. Many of those years of service have been difficult and wrought with frustration and problems peculiar only to a boychoir organization, but through it all he has persevered and kept for us this source of unusual beauty of sound and performance. Many are working with him to establish the organization on a firm basis in order that it might endure for all time and continue to perpetuate beauty and culture and inspiration long after we are gone. We believe this is a strong force for good that has already had far-reaching effect in the world through the live of the many who have come under his influence and teaching.

It is with a great deal of sincere respect and admiration, appreciation and affection that we dedicate this issue of the SCORE to our beloved friend, guide, teacher and director … GEORGE BRAGG. May the coming years bring the fulfillment of all his hopes and dreams for the Choir.

Copyright 2002 George Bragg

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