He Starts the Convention with Song
by Brian Caulfield
The Opening Ode is a hearty and inspirational tune that each year gets the Supreme Convention off to a rousing start. Extolling the courage and virtues of Christopher Columbus, the song recalls the founding spirit of the Knights of Columbus and encourages members to rise to higher achievements.
The man entrusted with leading the Opening Ode for the past few years has been Anthony Colbert, past state deputy of the District of Columbia. He takes great pride in setting the tone for the annual meeting.
“There are a lot of guys who can carry a tune better than I can,” Colbert said, modestly. “So it is a great honor to be chosen to do this for the past four years.” He has led the song at conventions in Nashville, Quebec, Phoenix and now in his home jurisdiction.
Colbert is a member of the Fourth Degree Choir in the Washington District, which is named in memory of the past director, J. Kemp Cooke. He said that he tries to find a middle tone to start the song, and not to sound too perfect, so all those present will feel encouraged to join in the singing.
“I try to give it a good feeling, a good pitch, something everyone can follow,” he said. “Once the brother Knights start to join it, the song takes care of itself.”