Mrs. Blogmeister and I recently welcomed a mainland relative for a visit to paradise (not one of the New Englanders, they only come in the winter). It was grand fun, much tourist-type things were enjoyed and Mai Tai sampling was a regular activity. I bet we’re not the only ones who NEVER do the typical Hawai’i visitor events and then have a blast seeing them through a loved one’s eyes when we d0.

This particular relative has a full-fledged addiction to one of the nine zillion TV reality shows, this one specific to singing (as opposed to dancing or dating or obstacle courses or cooking or all the other insanity out there) and, being good hosts, we sat down one night to have a listen. Once you managed to wade through all of the contrived drama and silliness and got down to just the singing, most of the performers were excellent. The thing that really grabbed me, however, came up during the oh-so-tear-jerking profiles of each one of them before they got under the spotlights. Nearly every one of them answered the question of their start in singing with, “InĀ  my school/church choir”.

The path was always the same, too. Learning the mechanics of singing, learning the joy of learning how a choir grows and matures and building confidence in the comfortable cocoon of a group. At some point each of them took the leap out of that cocoon as a soloist and that’s how they ended up on TV. Sure, they had obvious talent but the nurturing environment of a choir gave them the time, space and encouragement to become something more.

Even if the goal isn’t that lofty, participation in a choir at any (every) age is still a multi-faceted and layered adventure that never gets old. It can be, separately or all at the same time:

  • Exhilirating
  • Maddening
  • Bouying for the soul
  • A source for a (brief) crushing defeat
  • A source for a (lasts forever) overwhelming victory
  • Moving to the point of tears
  • Moving to the point of uncontrollable laughter
  • Confusing
  • Confidence-inspiring
  • Very personal
  • Very shared
  • Very lonely
  • Very wrapped in comfort
  • A singular moment
  • A series of moments that blend into a stream of amazement

And of course there’s simply nothing exactly like it, no other activity that involves so much of you in so many ways. That’s the magic, that’s why we keep coming back, that’s why we’re celebrating our “first” 10 years. There’s a long road stretched out ahead don’t ya know…