Happy 2021! Hopefully, we will start to see a bit of a return to normal this year. But it will definitely take time.
I, like many, have been doing a lot of reflection on happiness, inner peace and success. It has caused me to really think about moments when I have truly been happy. Such as when I was pregnant…. both times; a story left for a different day.
The other times I have been really happy is being a part of or working with a great team. I have been lucky to have that occur a couple of times during the course of my career but in fact the team dynamic that provided me with the most fulfillment was being part of a choir.
As you can tell from reading my blog, music has always been an important part of my life. There is a beauty in creating music that fills my soul. When I was younger, I did not necessarily understand the team work required to be in a choir. I was a singer and I loved to sing, so when I was in elementary school, singing with the choir, I sang loudly and did not try to blend my voice with the rest of the group. For me, the joy was simply singing.
But as I grew older and especially in high school, I was very blessed to have amazing music teachers and choir instructors, who introduced me to great music and harmonies.
The definition of harmony actually encapsulates what I love about being part of a choir:
1 : the playing of musical tones together in chords.
2 : a pleasing arrangement of parts a harmony of colors.
3 : agreement sense.
My favourite choirs were the Madrigal Choir and the Jazz Choir.
What is a madrigal?
A madrigal is a part-song for several voices, especially one of the Renaissance period, typically arranged in elaborate counterpoint and without instrumental accompaniment.
Whatever madrigals were, they were gorgeous. But for the beauty of those songs to come forth, the choir really had to listen to one another and sing and harmonize together. And when that happened, it was just awesome.
In Jazz Choir, again, the chords and melodies were more intricate and for the harmonies to work between the instruments and voices, again, everyone had to ensure they were listening and working together to create a great sound. That joy, when the music works, is indescribable. It really is holy.
So when I went to university and law school, the first thing I explored, even though I was not in the music program, was joining the University Choir. It was a lot of work, because you were singing with students who were full time music students but I have to say, those experiences really increased my skills and were very joyful.
In undergraduate, our concert choir performed Mozart’s Requiem. The entire piece, takes an hour to perform. It is a mass for the dead. The music is haunting and the harmonies and movements are just magnificent. I invited my parents and my brother to our performance because I honestly was so proud to be a part of this performance. I had no solo – I did not stand out in any way, but I was a part of the creation of the performance and it honestly felt amazing!
In reflecting on happiness and what makes my soul happy, I realize that once the pandemic is flattened, I would like to find another choir to join. Again, simply to be part of a group dynamic that creates beauty. There is nothing like it.
But that’s just one Diva’s view.