Did you see what I did there Phantom of the Opera fans?
There is a little known fact about me that most of you will find interesting, if not downright befuddling considering I coach swimming, sew, write, drive kids, have seven children and such a Harry Potter obsession that my cats are named Dobby and Winky. If I were to ever be blessed with another cat, I would call him or her Kreacher. Its just how we are here. What most of you might find the most surprising is that I hold a degree of music in Voice Performance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and that I have studied music and singing since I was about twelve.
What? Coach Kit?
I am immensely proud of this. Both of my degree and my school. Despite my Georgia upbringing, I bleed Carolina Blue as it is said. This degree and this blessing from God allows me to school children in the art of singing, formerly as a private voice teacher and most recently with the drama club at the middle school. Even though my training is 100% classical and we do Broadway type shows (I even entertained thoughts of being an opera singer for a living when I was younger), I am still able to teach the kids basics about projection, where their voice should “come from,” and how to manipulate a melodic line. This connection that I have to music is a part of who I am, a part of my soul.
Wow, that sounds melodramatic.
But honestly, it is what it is, and there is no other way to state that. I assume others feel the same way about their gifts and blessings. Life would simply be incomplete without it.
Now, all of that being said, I have sung Mozart, I have sung Handel. Faure. Debussy. Rorem. Schubert. And I love every (well, almost every … have you ever heard of “The Jewel Song” by Gounod’s opera Faust? just … ouch. Google it and watch Renee Fleming) song I’ve ever studied, and I love singing. Just me in the crook of the piano. In a “live” room. It’s magical.
But no matter how magical, solo music never seems to live up to choral music to me. Specifically, tight harmonies, dissonances, four to eight to even sixteen part kinships and blends of voices that surely are angels come down to remind us that Heaven really does exist. After all, how can just one voice make that sound? It can’t.
Whenever I’m sad, or stressed, or just need my soul calmed, I turn to one of two places. The water, or the music.
We were driving to school this morning and the movie Frozen was playing for the umpteenth time since it came out on DVD two weeks ago. The kids love, love the music, just like most kids their age, I would imagine. “Love is an Open Door” and “Let it Go,” of course are their favorites and no one is allowed to sing while it is playing. For me however those songs however clever and cute, and believe me, they are clever, don’t hold a candle to the choral music. Choral music? What? In Frozen? Yes. An amateur female group from Norway called Cantus. (Not to be confused with the male a cappella group from Minneapolis, who are also good, but sing a different type of music.) Go listen to it, see if it doesn’t bring tears to your eyes.
Anyway. It was a rough night. No sleep for no reason. I dropped the kids at school and knowing I have a ton of stuff to do that I didn’t get done yesterday (go read yesterday’s post), I pulled up Pandora, turned on the bluetooth and let the sounds of Heaven wash over me.
It always, always gives me a reason to smile.
I have my favorites of course, and I turn to them when I need them.