Let’s Make Music Together

I have to say, I cannot wait to sing in a choral setting once again.  Sure, good solo singing can be an incredible thing, but good ensemble singing is an entirely different thing!  Especially when we consider the limits the individual experiences, which a group can overcome.  Sure there are different challenges that arise for the group, but the blessings can definitely outweigh the cost.  Below are four examples.

First, breathing.  Breathing, while singing, can be easier in a group setting as breaths can be hidden by taking turns.  Breathing can also be challenging in a group setting, if you’re not mindful to things like final consonants which can ruin the flow of a phrase.

Second, blending.  A section of one blends perfectly.  A section of two or more has to make an asserted effort to blend with one another.  This difficult task of matching tone, tenor, and tempo can be difficult, but the large, rich, full sound that can be achieved together is unparalleled.

Third, range.  While some outlying individuals can have incredible range all by themselves, most of us need others to be able to reach notes that are higher or lower that we’re able to sing.  For example, I tend to be a higher tenor than most so have to pitch things lower than I’m comfortable for congregational singing.  When we sing together we can simply achieve possibilities that we are unable to realize when we sing alone.

Fourth, and most exciting to me, HARMONY!!!  Yes individuals can be breathtaking, however, ensemble singing increases the richness and depth of experience.  There is something beautiful about voices singing in unison, but when they break into three and four part harmonies something glorious can be created.

And so it is in our lives as Christians.  If we seek to go it alone, we could arguable do a fine job (if you exclude all the research about loneliness that exists).  But when we come together, we have a higher potential to thrive.  As the Spirit breathes her blending (and unifying) breath into our very souls, let us seek to seek to expand the range of our work and life together.  And as we do so, remember we need not do so in unison (or uniformity), but can and must do so in the most beautiful harmony.

Nicholas Hopkins

 

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