On Sunday evening my husband found a program on TVO (TV Ontario) called The Choir: Military Wives. Knowing I have a "small" interest in all things CHOIR related he suggested I switch it on. I found it was originally a BBC production of course. Gareth the choir master, comes to the military base to form a choir of the military wives left behind when their husbands are deployed to Afghanistan. Gareth even goes out and tries the military exercises with the remaining forces to really try and understand the life of the base.
He holds no auditions. One of the things he told the ladies to do at the beginning was to make certain to make mistakes he can hear so that they can be corrected. The phrase he used was "be wrong and strong". I love it.
He stood at the front and told them he had a hat for each of them and then mimed throwing out hats and then they put them on. They were the "magical hats of confidence".
He even went to a couple of the homes to do singing lessons with some of the wives. One lady was so terrified, he had to work to get her to hum. But hum she did. Even with that fear, she got so much more out of the choir she was willing to keep going. After their concert her comments about how great she felt and her huge smile are a testament to the power of the choir.
They sang their first concert to the troops still on the base and did a grand job. Mind you, Gareth didn't let them know ahead of time so they wouldn't get over nervous. However, they sang with confidence and WITHOUT SHEET MUSIC.
This choir had just begun and yet it made such a difference. Music was such a wonderful vehicle to create camaraderie, confidence, and a voice to allow the wives to share who and what they are. It is totally amazing to watch the growth that is happening.
All of you who are in a choir, this is YOU!! Thank you for all you commit and bring to the choirs. Have you noticed this growth and change? Do you want more?