In the past few weeks, two musical groups have crossed my path. From different sides of the world, in two different languages, I have not been able to get them out of my mind.
On the surface, they could not be more different: Samoan traditional folk songs and American Barbershop arrangements. Young men in suits vs. middle aged men in costumes.
Dig a little deeper, though, and similarities appear: choral singing; obvious dedication and persistent attention to their craft; and groups of men doing something other than sports in public!
But the one thing that has stayed in my soul, the thing that connects these two disparate elements tighter than any other, is the delicate thread of JOY!
These men LOVE what they are doing!! They are full of enthusiasm for the performance. They are single-minded in their connection and relationship to each other and their listeners. They are delight-full! I can’t get enough of these musicians, because they make me smile and fill my heart to overflowing.
You may draw different conclusions, but the one thing I know without a doubt, is that singing together is a spiritual experience. There is no other activity like it on the planet; some communal activities come close, but choral singing is another realm altogether. And yes, this is a shameless plug for joining a choir! If you need pure joy in your life, choir is one of the fastest and most fulfilling ways to find it. So sing yourself joyful this week . . . even if it’s only in the shower!
Fortissimo Choir of Dilworth College, Auckland New Zealand
Ambassadors of Harmony, directed by Jim Henry
No Other Love/Step in Time from Mary Poppins