Monday, February 18, 2013

Coming Up For Air

My mother came from a musically talented family.  My maternal cousin Lola and my mother's half-sister Kay both have gorgeous singing voices; when Kay was in college, in fact, she won the talent contest in the Miss South Dakota pageant.  Unfortunately, although I loved to sing, I always thought I hadn't inherited the family vocal cords.

Just about a year ago a woman from my parents' church choir heard me singing in the congregation and talked me into joining the choir myself.  I was frankly astonished that they took me, but hey - they were desperate for additional bodies.

Since joining the choir I've learned a lot about singing, the most important of which is this - having the vocal cords isn't enough; good sound is based on air flow.  This last year has been the first extended period in my adult lifetime when I wasn't either managing other people or coping on a daily basis with Barry's Asperger quirks.  In other words, this is the first time I haven't been living in a constant state of tension.  It's no wonder I couldn't sing when my entire body was always clenched like a fist.  Now that my throat and my diaphragm have relaxed, I have a much bigger voice than I ever expected.

The choir is a small, close-knit group and I love them all, but I am particularly grateful to Vonda, the woman who originally recruited me.  Sadly, her wonderful husband Glenn - one of the kindest people I've ever known - died last week.  His memorial service was this weekend, and I sang one of the solos that Vonda had requested.  It was hard to get through it without bursting into tears, but it was the best way I could think of to partially repay the friend who has given me this incredible gift.

"I should like to see you free as a bird, singing for the joy of it." ~Joan Aiken, The Five-Minute Marriage

No comments:

Post a Comment