Choir Geeks

In a YouTube Video composer Eric Whitacre talked about singing with a choir for the first time. It was in college and the piece was the Mozart Requiem. “It was like seeing color for the first time, and I was regularly moved to tears during rehearsals, crushed by the impossible beauty of the work. I became a choral geek of the highest magnitude, I mean I lived for rehearsals and performances …”

We all feel that way. You take a breath, and masterpieces like Bach’s Mass in B Minor emerge. Sometime it’s hard not to just break down sobbing, the work is so magnificent.

Another composer, Ralph Vaughan Williams, wrote, “If we neglect the amateur side of music and become a nation of mere passive listeners all the life will go out of our art … ” Given all the evidence that continues to pile up for the beneficial things music does to our brains, bodies, immune systems, and hearts—and by hearts I mean that both literally and metaphorically—it’s terrible that it’s not part of everyone’s lives. “Singing together and making music together,” Whitacre said in his YouTube video, “is a fundamental human experience.”

Yesterday Finney took the place behind my practice piano that Buddy used to take …

And then Bleecker showed up. “Can I sit here too? Can I, Can I??” Right, like we all don’t know what you really mean: “Can I jump on your back, put my paws around you like a vise, then chomp on your neck until you cry?” I’m sorry, Finney.

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

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