Wednesday, October 11, 2017

We can keep on singing

I remember my choir teacher in high school told me, 'When in doubt, sing loud.' I'm a terrible singer, but I always auditioned for the musicals, and would get cast in them because I really would just put it all out there. That was really good advice, and I think it works for everything, not just acting.
~Judy Greer

For Wellness Wednesday, some choral music and an excerpt from Heather Lende's Find the Good: Unexpected Life Lessons from a Small-Town Obituary Writer where Ms. Lende speaks about what singing in a choir means to her:
"The years are adding up -- births and deaths, arrivals and departures, old songs and new. All held together by the strength of not one note, but so many, blending together. We will never be onstage at Carnegie Hall, but lives have been changed for the better by our music and our connection to one another through it. If I weren't in this little choir in the middle of nowhere, I wouldn't have been standing on the stage at that memorial for my good friend who died at sixty-one, singing peace with al my heart into all those tear-streaked faces. I wouldn't have truly felt Emily Dickinson's beautiful words, "Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul," and better yet, because I sang about that little bird who sings sweetest in strongest gales, and never, ever, asks a crumb of me, I felt that unexpected surge of contentment.

It may sound corny, but I don't care, because it is true: Hope did perch in my soul that day and I watched it flying around that room as surely as if it were a yellow canary. Some philosophers urge young people to march to their own beat, or dance to their own music. There's a time and place for that, but I sure hope my grandchildren find a choir, and work to sing along with it. We may not be able to control when children throw up or a spouse leaves us or when one of the altos has a stroke between morning worship and the evening church potluck and won't ever be returning for the dress shoes she left by the coatrack when she pulled on her snow boots. We cannot stop a once-vigorous running companion from shrinking inside a hospital gown and disappearing entirely, but we can keep on singing. This is how we give each other a little lift on low notes, and a smile on the high ones, or share the effort in those places where staggered breathing is the only way to make it to the of the day.
With thanks to Ms. Lende for giving me permission to share this excerpt.

It's not the best view, but hey, my kid is performing (in the orchestra, not the chorus), and the choirs sound like champions, my friends!

Want more choral music? Have I got some for you!

The YMCA Jerusalem Youth Chorus
Choir! Choir! Choir!
Steinberg's Passion Week
Elijah Rock
Le lagrime di San Pietro
Eric Whitacre Singers


Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

Wow. Gorgeous! (orchestra and choirs)

Pop said...

Beautiful, especially one French horn player in particular!

Isn't it amazing how well Queen's music sounds when done by an orchestra and choir.