|The first time I sang karaoke, in Osaka, Japan (1986)|
2. Life-Giving Qualities of Music. Music has filled my life, from learning to play the violin in fourth grade and playing violin and cello through high school to learning how to play mandolin in my 40s. We became well known in the NICU as the "singing Gettels," because we sang to Chris in his isolette every single day. I sang my kids to sleep each evening when they were little. I was thrilled to get my first iPod and felt like I finally had my own personal radio station. I've always been drawn to music, and it has the ability to lift me up like nothing else.
3. The Opportunity to Be Part of Something Bigger. I was an orchestra kid and sang in our small church choir, so the only other time I've sung in a large choir was my first year in college...and it was all women. Not the same! I love the harmonies and power we create as a large six-part choir! And when we come across a tough piece of music and work it out together, it’s like solving a tough puzzle together.
|January 2019 concert|
“There are few things that stimulate the brain the way music does,” says one Johns Hopkins otolaryngologist. “If you want to keep your brain engaged throughout the aging process, listening to or playing music is a great tool. It provides a total brain workout.”
|After the Summer 2019 concert|
6. Amazing Snacks! We have a snack break at each rehearsal, a full table of snacks in the concert green room, and frequent parties and random get-togethers. Many of the choir members love to cook and bake, and great creativity is displayed in many of the snacks. The last two post-concert parties have been held at the home of the incredibly kind and generous Dian and Steve Wells, who have one of the most beautiful gardens and homes I've seen.
7. (Director) Mark and (Assistant) Caley. I met Caley nearly 25 years ago, when I loved working with her at CH2M HILL. We became close friends and I came to know Mark after she'd left the company to raise her daughters. I am all too familiar with musical snobs...people who have been trained classically (like Mark) who look down on people who do not read music or who struggle to carry a tune. Rock Voices has no requirement to audition or even read music, so the directors deal with all levels of competence and experience. Mark is never anything but patient, kind, supportive, and fun. Caley, also classically trained, accompanies us when we're learning our parts. When Rock Voices began, she thought she'd just do it for the first season...but she soon became addicted like the rest of us. I adore these people.
8. The Community and Fun! What's astonishing about this group of people, which started last summer with about 30 and now has grown to over 100 people, is that I've not met one member who I don't like. Mark and Caley's generous and warm spirits attract others like them. Many of our members are in service professions, and all are kind and caring. I'm all about finding communities, and Rock Voices has become another of those communities. I even feel connected to Rock Voices choirs on the east coast, because we have an active Facebook group. Before the last concert, two women in New England posted videos of their practices together and they were hilarious! We all sing the same songs, which builds camaraderie across the country. On the east coast, members often sing with other choirs...and we've had an occasional visitor come to our choir as well. Our weekly rehearsals always have me laughing, often because of Mark and Caley flirting or teasing one another!
|I got to sing with Chris' love|
Emma in the spring--
she has a fantastic voice!
10. My book group buddies! I love my book group dearly. They are wonderful, funny, and bright women...and I love seeing three of them each week at choir! I feel sorry for the book groupies who are not in choir, because not only are they missing out, but they also have to listen to us talking about choir all the time. It's seriously an addiction, or maybe a cult! We also discovered that one of our members, Katie, had been hiding away a phenomenal voice and ability to rock the house. The first time Katie sings a solo each season, we are so starstruck listening to her that we fail to sing our parts correctly.
I'm about to start my fourth season of Rock Voices, and this time Mike, Chris, and my dad's friend are joining me. The song list is going to be the widest ranging ever. We take about a month off between each season, and many of us feel desperate to get back together again. Monday nights feel empty.
Let me know if you'd like to know more about Rock Voices or if you'd like to come to a concert! You can see some of our concert videos on YouTube. Our next concert will be in January 2020.