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Three years ago I hosted an "Evening with Maya Angelou" at Christ Church in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Several weeks prior to her appearance I asked her if she would would tell me the names of her favorite hymns so we could perform them prior to her presentation. I told her I hoped she would comment on the songs and her spiritual journey during her talk.
She enthusiastically agreed.
On the night of the event I spent an hour with Maya in the Green Room before she spoke. During our conversation she asked me what I was working on. When I told her I was writing a memoir she took hold of my forearm and began to sing "Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child."
I was stunned.
When she finished this impromptu musical blessing she smiled and said, "Now you be brave."
I will cherish that moment for the rest of my life.
One of the hymns Maya requested we sing was "Fly Away."
My friend Solveig Chaffee captured the performance with her iPhone. My brilliant and lifelong friend Rob Mathes was the musical director that night.
It was magical.