by Caryl Tipton, Director of Music Ministry
If there’s one thing I leave you all as I retire, it’s that I hope you all keep singing, literally and figuratively! In worship, congregational singing is a way to connect, feel, change the vibration in the room and celebrate community. No matter if you think you can sing well….belt out those hymns and join in the communal singing. For most people, it’s the only time they sing other than with familiar tunes in the car! It changes your heart rate, mood and a sense of belonging.
The thing that I have rejoiced in the most, being a choral conductor, is encouraging and bringing out the song in each person…whatever level of voice training (or not!), whatever capability of reading music (or not!) and whatever comfort level they have in “performing”. I reached inside of me and my experience to demonstrate how to produce a musical sound that would express the feeling and meaning of the music…both for the individual and as a choir. I hope that those listening have not only heard the voices of each member as a whole…but each of their hearts as well. That’s what I always strived to bring out in each person. Each singer contributes in their own way to the full sound and spirit of the choir. In this way, I’ve been developing and have been surrounded by a community my whole career.
In life, I’ve tried to sing out loud and strong. Live joyfully. Enjoy the music of your life moments. And…Voice your opinion. Speak boldly. Sing in the chorus of justice seeking people. Join together in the song of freedom, fairness, honesty and equality. I mean this metaphorically, as in experiencing life fully. However, it’s no coincidence that protestors and marchers sing and chant their message loud and clear. Another way of singing together, in community and solidarity, to make their voices heard.
You’ve heard the expression, “Dance like no one is watching.” I hope you will “Sing like no one is listening!”