>Music Man


We just finished watching the first storyline of “The Choir.” I choked up and got teary eyed several times. The premise of the show is that a Choir Master (Gareth Malone) creates choruses from groups of people that have never sung in a chorus before. In the first storyline, he creates a mixed 4 part choir from a group of London high school students that had never sung before, created an audition CD, entered them into a competition for an International Chorus Olympics, and flew them to China where they competed against other choruses. It changed all of them.

As anyone who’s ever been part of a choir or band knows, there is something incredibly powerful and exhilarating about being part of something like this. The hard work, the bonding, the disappointments and the pride of performing; of coming from nothing to this singular powerful sound and being surrounded by people who all have the same goal and desire as you: to blend into one amazing, beautiful, powerful harmony.

Music has always played an important role in my life. I have been fortunate, despite my limited abilities, to be part of many choirs, bands and performance groups throughout my life. Although I am not currently part of any music group, I hope to be again some day.

I remember how emotional it was the first time I played an entire song with a band on my Trombone, the first song I ever sang as part of a chorus, the first time I ever made it into All-County Band, the first time I performed a Trombone Duet with my High School Band Instructor and the first time our LGBT chorus performed on stage. They are some of the happiest moments of my life.

Music has also played an important role in my life as it holds many memories, marks special occasions and helps me process emotions when I am happy, celebratory, sad, angry or hurt. Many movies and TV Shows stay in my memory for their musical performance moments.

One of my favorite movies, Mr. Hollands Opus, resonated with me very deeply, not only for the main character’s love of music, but for the revelation at the end of the movie that his friends, family, students and community ARE his masterpiece, his Opus. That concept has always stayed with me and this show has brought much of that to the surface for me tonight.

We are all the Choir Masters of our own life, building a community of people that will join with us to help us make the music of our life. We seek out those whose voices, added to our own, strengthen us and help enrich our performance. Much like the process Gareth follows in the series, we audition people to fill the parts we need and work with them in the hope that they will remain committed and dedicated and fulfill their promise and potential. For sure, there are painful moments when we realize there are voices that are weak and no longer add to our sound and we have to let them go so that we may make room for and focus on those that bring the best qualities to our life. But as we piece together the remaining voices, the sound gets stronger and richer and we begin to see and hear the beauty in the unity and harmony the individual voices make when brought together as a whole. There are both people we never thought would be there, and people we thought for sure would be and are not but, in the end, the chorus is comprised of exactly who it is meant to be comprised of and the song sounds exactly as it is meant to sound. These people are, this community is, our own personal masterpiece.

At our latest party this past Saturday night, I remember this one, single, blissful moment when I was upstairs alone and stopped for a moment to listen to the voices and laughter of my friends as they drifted from the backyard through the window…literally music to my ears.

These are my singers, this is my chorus…and the music has never sounded sweeter.

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2 Responses to >Music Man

  1. anne marie says:

    >awwwwwww!music has always helped me cope with my sometimes traumatic life. it heals, it soothes, it speaks, it screams…better than drugs or booze.still wanna hear about your wonderful weekend though (hint hint)…

  2. Cubby says:

    >Wonderful post, Sean.

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