It always surprises me how I am moved by the beauty and power of the human voice. Including this week, Shannon and I have been practicing with the SONG choirs for 10 weeks. We rehearse twice a week with each group. In that time, these fine young singers have learned about pitch, rhythm, harmony, breath-control, phrasing, listening to each other, concert decorum—the list goes on and on.

Something happened in about week three that has stayed with me. I was rehearsing the Junior choir group at Grant Sine. We had just had a session of bucket drumming. Anyone who rehearses bucket drumming knows that it is chaotic noise that gradually turns into rhythmic accuracy. Initial rehearsals require patience and faith. After the bucket drumming we started working on the singing portion of Beat Of A Different Drum (a song written for bucket drumming and singing). It is one of the songs that you will hear at our concert this Sunday December 1.

We had very little time left in the rehearsal and I knew that the sound they were making was too heavy, too loud, too pressed, lacking in musicality. Instead of addressing all of these concerns separately, out of my mouth came the words “sing like angels”.

The tone changed immediately. The sound was lifted, expressive, lyrical. They immediately stood taller, the looks on their faces changed, they sang the words with a personal connection to the lyrics that gave me shivers.

Really, that is all I am ever looking for when I work with singers.

If I get the shivers when a group sings, it is because the singers have found their personal connection to the lyrics, and through their feelings and musicality, have created a unique expression of a composition. The artist within has been awakened.

Sunday is our very first formal concert with SONG. Yikes! I am excited for our young singers to experience the magic of performing at Victoria Hall on a stage with lighting, grand piano (played by Daniel Wiersma), and string instruments (Deborah Henderson’s wonderful young violinists called String Fever). We have approximately fifty young voices singing, plus our adult vocal ensemble Safe Harbour.

This will be a unique Christmas concert experience. I hope to see you there!

– Posted by Marie