Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sometimes You Have to Stop Thinking and Just Do It!

As our 25th wedding anniversary approached, we could not decide how we wanted to celebrate the big event. We talked and read and discussed until it almost seemed that it would be way too much trouble. But finally, remembering a camping trip many years ago when we drove down a beautiful highway in Utah, we decided (OK, it was mostly me...Tom said he'd go anywhere!) to book at the Sorrel River Ranch in Moab, Utah. The very long drive to get there and back was completely worth the effort. We had a wonderful few days, the Colorado River on one side of us and massive red buttes and pinnacles all around. Glorious weather, wonderful food, immensely peaceful surroundings...exactly what we wanted. The highlight, however, was a concert in a grotto on the river by 14 outstanding musicians who played Brahms, Tchaikovsky and others in the most awe-inspiring setting imaginable. The notes rang from the 200' high walls and brought tears to our eyes. And the boat ride to and from the grotto was more than spectacular. We felt as though we had touched the ancients, humbled by the sheer magnitude of the world around us.

My dear friends, don't resist the urge to grab every moment of beauty and inspiration you can, even if it involves great effort. This precious life is so damned unpredictable and one never knows when the next curve ball will come along. We need memories such as those I described above to help us through the swampy times of life!

Love to you all!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

"The Choir" will make you smile!

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