I was ten years old when I had my first choral music experience. I was picked from my fifth grade class to perform with the famous May Festival Children's Choir in Cincinnati, Ohio. I was just one of several hundred kids but I clearly remember the feeling that this was something I wanted and needed in my life. I've never lost that feeling, the joy of making music as part of a group, creating a beautiful sound together.
That's why I have been transfixed by the BBC America's TV series "The Choir." Not only is it reality television of the finest kind, but each time I watch an episode I realize that I am smiling the whole time, and usually tearing up by the time it ends. (Don't you just love shows that make you cry?) Young choir master, Gareth Malone, takes on blue-collar British schools and towns where no choir has ever existed, where no one thinks they can sing, and changes lives through music. It is magical! His skill as a teacher and musician is in making it accessible and acceptable for people to try singing, and then to allow the experience of choral music to capture them. People of all ages discover a passion and talent they never imagined, and they have great fun. I love the faces of the singers when they perform as a group for the first time. I find it profoundly moving.
If you haven't caught this show, give yourself a treat and tune in. Even if you don't sing, or don't like music (though who could admit to that I can't imagine!) you will find yourself captivated. And if you have never been part of a choir, think about joining one. As you lift your voice, you will lift your heart!
Here's a link to some more information: http://www.bbcamerica.com/content/401/the-choir-videos.jsp