For the past 12 years, every Sunday like clockwork (except when travelling), at precisely 06:45 pm, I enter the music room in my hometown's Cultural Center.
As always, the room is full of the hustle and bustle of a choir preparing for practice: chairs are being unstacked, water is boiling in the kettle, refreshments are being placed on the table, our musical director is testing the electric keyboard, printed sheets full of notes and scribbles are being taken out of folders, soft chatter, cheeky gossip, warm hugs, friendly laughter… I am home.
We call ourselves “The Breeze Choir” to represent our affinity to the nearby Mediterranean Sea, our preferred musical style and our personality when performing on stage. With 9 women (Alto & Soprano) and 5 men (Tenor & Bass) our “breeze” is truly diverse, rich and colorful.
One of the most addictive aspects of singing in a choir, is literally being part of something that is bigger than the sum of its parts. This is not a cliché. Well, maybe just a bit…
In order for a choir to truly move an audience through song, it needs to transform from a group of single singers into a “collective”. Yes, I said a collective. I guess that sounds alien in the age of selfies and i-everything, but it’s true. No single instrument is more important than the other in the orchestra. The same goes for singers in a choir.
This transformation from scattered individuals into one entity is not easy and takes years of practice. It begins by learning how to harmonize with each other, carefully laying note upon note to create a unique musical texture. It continues with creating dynamics, drama, and telling a story in a compelling way. The last phase of this metamorphosis occurs on a stage in front of 500 spectators. At this point, singing as one is not enough – you also need to stand, smile, and move as one.
As opposed to other areas in my life where I am usually center stage, when I step into that music room, every Sunday, precisely at 06:45 pm, I immerse myself into the crowd. I put aside ego and self-importance. I join the group effort to drive air through our lungs, via our hearts and vocal chords, to create our sound, to create our breeze...