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By Sally Torbey

Sing and celebrate

Uploaded: Dec 5, 2016

I recently joined the choir at our church. I have wanted to join for many years but teaching Sunday school took priority when our kids were little and weeknight rehearsals were challenging with a spouse who travels. Rehearsing before Sunday services made getting the rest of the family to church difficult as even attending a 10 am service on the weekend is pushing it for teens. But now that the older of our two teens is driving, and our youngest daughter can get herself around by bike, I am taking advantage of their independence and singing with the choir.

Even though there is no audition required to join our church choir, most of the choir members are far more accomplished and experienced than I am, which is intimidating but energizing. I’m taking voice lessons and am happy to be making slow but incremental progress, which is giving me confidence and lessening the anxiety, self-consciousness, and feelings of unworthiness that come with performing with a group of talented artists! I am way out of my comfort zone, but everyone has been very encouraging and the emotional lift of singing is so worth it. Singing with others, particularly in harmony, gives people an oxytocin boost, and I can attest that even a mediocre singer can enjoy the mood lift from this hormone!

My growing confidence was also the impetus for attending my first Messiah sing along this weekend. My voice teacher performed the alto solos and listening to her is awe-inspiring. I had no idea how long the Messiah actually is, and we sang only a portion of it over the hour and a half. I limped through most of the choruses, but slogging through the piece made singing the last more familiar Hallelujah chorus all the more exhilarating. It felt like we’d climbed a mountain and then relished the view from high above.

Fortunately the upcoming holidays provide ample opportunities to celebrate with song!