"Too Hot" Residencies

Too Hot to Handel Poetry Contest

Too Hot to Handel 2020-2021 City-Wide Poetry Contest details coming soon.

Here are the winning entries for 2020:


My community is peaceful, quiet, calm, and nice
I feel calm here
The sun rises beautifully
The day is nice
The wind blows
The air is refreshing
I lay in the grass and look up at the clouds
I make faces with it, animals with it
I feel free, relaxed, and calm
I have energy to do anything
I get up to look and smell the beautiful flowers
There’s peace everywhere

By Jaylene L. — 5th grade at Charles R. Henderson Elementary School


My community has shaped me
Into a creative person

In my community we care
For each other and love each other

Here we care, hope, and
We have the potential to be anything we dream

My community is full of joy
Joy makes me feel comfortable
And makes me want to laugh

My hope is that we continue with this pattern
To make sure we continue this pattern

I will do my part
I will continue to love and care and hope

We are a community!

By Maya F. — 7th grade at William T. Sherman Elementary School


My community has made me an intelligent person
My community is brave and majestic
In my community, we encourage each other
We pray and we learn

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “And so even though we face the
difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream”

My dream is that my community always be this way
My hope is that we never change

I will have faith and try to make it happen
Because this is my community

By Reniyah G. — 7th grade at William T. Sherman Elementary

Too Hot to Handel Five-Class Music Residency

FREE to schools while space is available!

Explore the music of Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah and its connection to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision of “beloved community.” By working as a classroom community to create a unique music composition, students are challenged to make active choices as an ensemble and as individuals that change the “sounds” of their own communities.

Questions? Contact [email protected] or call 312.341.2359.

Too Hot to Handel Five-Class Poetry Residency

FREE to schools while space is available!

Explore the ways that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the text of Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah use words to create an emotional impact. Students discover how their individual language choices can be used to create “sounds of non-violence” and affect positive change. Over the course of five one-hour residency classes, students work to create and then perform poems based on their knowledge of Dr. King, Too Hot to Handel, and their experience within their own communities. Residencies end in a spoken word performance of all students’ poems.

Questions? Contact [email protected] or call 312.341.2359.