I have no end of gratitude to my father for instilling in me a great love of music. He loved all kinds of genres; from classical to funk, from folk to blues. We would sit in the family room in the dark late at night and listen to whatever struck our fancy. My brother Adam was privileged to get this gift as well.
I am not however a great musician myself. Oh, I can pluck out a tune on a piano and can read music. I can play simple tunes on an old alto cherry wood recorder my dad ordered from Germany. I love to do primal, drum frenzy drum jams. But that’s the real extent of it instrument wise.
I do however, sing. Mostly choral stuff for public listening but I do sing for myself around the house. I have been blessed to have been a chorus member of the Colorado Symphony Chorus, the Colorado Children’s Chorale, and the Denver Women’s Chorus.
I love choral singing. Watching a difficult piece go from horrific and we wonder if this will ever sound good to the sigh of relief and awe of finally getting it together and hearing how beautiful it truly is.
I have proud memories of stellar choral moments; those times and pieces that just move your soul and make all the hard work totally worth it, hearing the explosion of applause. It’s the best high there is sometimes.
Moment #1: Gichigami
The Denver Women’s Chorus (now DWC) sent out a request for inspiration for the upcoming concert theme for fall 2016. The theme was water. I sent in a few chants I knew from the pagan community, some songs ideas and a poem I had written called Lake Superior. It was written from the perspective of the lake talking to a human about their relationship to each other. I sent it all to the email address given.
A few weeks later, I got an email asking me if it would be ok for my poem to become the lyrics to the commissioned piece we were going to do for the water concert. Well, I was blown away and said “OF COURSE!!!!!” This notification came on my mom’s birthday so I was able to give her a really good gift in the news of this.
The composer, Catherine Witten Thomas, and I worked via email together at first. She asked me all kinds of questions about the poem, the lake, the Native perspective. Seeing the finished score with my name on it as the lyricist was mind blowing. Even more mind blowing was hearing the chorus start to sing it.
All these women that I loved singing my words and how fantastic the music itself was. Catherine had gotten it just right. Nailed it in fact.
Hearing it and singing it was a life changer and will always be my number 1 memory of music.
More later for the rest of the list. Stayed tuned!