The Colorado College community gathered on the quad on Tuesday, June 26, to sing “America the Beautiful” to honor the city of Colorado Springs. The song is linked to local and college history: The lyrics were penned by Katherine Lee Bates in the summer of 1893 after a visit to the summit of Pikes Peak while she was teaching English courses at CC. The college is participating in a city-wide initiative called Pikes Peak Sings, in which groups of citizens stand in front of different beloved local landmarks and sing the iconic song. When CC agreed to take part and planned a sing-along in front of Cutler Hall, participants had no idea that the city would soon be facing an enormous threat from the Waldo Canyon Fire. On Tuesday afternoon, the view to Pikes Peak to the west of campus was clear and bright for the filming, which took place just three hours before the devastating flare-up that claimed parts of the Mountain Shadows neighborhood and shrouded the mountains in smoke for days. A fun and simple demonstration of hometown pride took on new meaning, and the CC community is prouder than ever to be a part of this city of resilient and compassionate people.
Pikes Peak Sings is an outreach effort of the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region, Leadership Pikes Peak, and the Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau. A compilation video will be unveiled by Mayor Steve Bach at a Spirit of the Springs rally on July 28, 2012. It will be used to advertise the region for tourism and business.