I know, this is a violin website, not a singing website! But when in comes to music, oftentimes the first way we express ourselves musically is through the instrument that is built right into us: the voice.
This week I attended a concert by the Los Angeles Master Chorale - I went to see violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, who was playing Morton Lauridsen's "O Magnum Mysterium" with them. This extremely high-level choir, singing capella, produced a gorgeous cushion of sound that was a lot like a full orchestra, with Meyers as the soloist.
Singing in a choir can feel pretty similar to playing in an orchestra, in that it allows the individual to a part of a larger group, making music while surrounded by it.
I've never been a great singer, but as a child I sang (and whistled) all the time. It didn't really occur to me to try to be in a choir, although I certainly noticed and enjoyed the choir at church. My sister sang in a children's choir, and so I went to those concerts as well.
During my last year of high school, I tried out for the choir. While I don't have a super-strong voice, I can sing in tune. The choir director let me in, but I later suspected an agenda when that year he scheduled a medley from "Fiddler on the Roof," Mozart's "Laudate Dominum" - suddenly the choir was singing a lot of music that suspiciously required a violinist! But I was very happy to be a part of the choir, whether singing in it or playing the violin.
As an adult, I have never formally sung in a choir, but I've played in the orchestra for countless choir performances, and the power of so many voices together always moves me.
What is your experience with choir? Have you ever sung in one? Have you sung in many different choirs? How has singing influenced your playing? Have you played as an instrumentalist in choir concerts? Please choose the answer that best matches your experience, and then tell us your thoughts about it in the comments.
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