“If I cannot fly, let me sing.”
― Stephen Sondheim
My daughter and I always find out about my grandson Gavin’s (age 13 already!) choral concerts at the last minute. It was that way again this past December just a few weeks before Christmas. But find out we did, and off we went.
Since I don’t have the greatest memory these days, I can’t remember exactly what songs he and his chorus sang. I know “Silent Night” was in there. I can remember this- all those young people together, singing in harmony, was absolutely beautiful. Their melodious voices and the deep meaning of the holiday came together in that one night when all I had to do was sit there and enjoy. (I always have to have kleenex in my purse too!) I was in silent admiration of the music teachers as well. They were so clearly devoted to the students, and had the amazing ability to corral them all to make such wonderful music. Kudos to them!
Gavin’s concert was on the heels of my fall trip to North Carolina to see my sister Mary. During one of our rides into her work, Mary played a CD of recorded music from when we had been in middle school chorus. (It had been given to her a few months before from an old high school friend Laurie.) Listening to our music from almost 45 years ago, I was speechless. It was as if we were back in time, on those bleachers, singing all over again. And here’s the thing. We were really good.
Mr. Zana was the choral director for the school back then. He was also my piano teacher. I freely admit now that I was terrible at practicing for my weekly lessons. But Mr. Zana was always patient and encouraging. And sometimes he included me in piano backgrounds at the choral performances in school.
We sang everything back then. The Hallelujah Chorus, This Little Light of Mine, Cabaret, Light of the World. Mr. Zana’s energy was boundless and I could feel his presence in the music, even as I listened to it all these years later.
My sisters and I also sang in our church choir when we were growing up. In the summer, we had a junior choir to give the grown ups some time off. One Sunday, my sisters and I were the only ones singing up in the balcony. Afterwards I asked my Aunt Olga if we sounded ok. She said, with a beautiful smile on her face, we sounded just like angels.
All these years later, I know what she means. There were plenty of children on that stage with my grandson. And they sounded like a multitude of angels. This is my thought. God presents us with these wondrous opportunities to experience joy and happiness. We should live in the moment as we experience them, and then remember them always.
I tell you, I’d pay my grandson $20 to sing me one of those songs he sang during that choral concert. He is so shy, I know he will say no. But I still might ask him. 😉 It would be worth every penny.
“He who sings scares away his woes.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra