One of the most gratifying components of singing within a choral ensemble is that of giving pleasure to those who are hearing the music. Never did I realize that as much as I did this past week, in spite of the fact that this was the thirtieth year that I was part of this choir.
When I reflect on the entire dynamic of rehearsing, performing and watching the reactions of those who absorb our sounds, it’s another of those very happy win-win situations. In spite of the hard work and concentration associated with rehearsals, the upside is the frequent ability to hear the type of choral enjoyment that we are creating. The actual final product is not only the result of that practice but a form of finale to the hard work.
It occurs to me that this is a model for life. We spend a great deal of time and energy on creating something – a family, a work community, an artistic product – visual, auditory or tactile – so that we may deliver that commodity to those for whom we have the greatest love and respect.
This past week I heard a great deal of appreciation and compliments on the music to which I was a contributor. Having long reflected on the fact that we are not the same as the art we create, it had nothing to do with me except that I was a contributor to the inspirational music. And so it goes with the rest of our lives. If we are very fortunate, we have opportunities to make large or small additions to the common good, whether by intention or by fortunate consequence.
You can easily see that I am powerfully grateful for the occasion to improve the world in which I reside, if only for an hour or two or three. When one day I am making a summary of those additions in terms of my family, my communities and the classroom, I sincerely hope that I can conclude that I played a part in making the world a more beautiful or happy place to live. Shalom.
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