As mentioned in one of my previous posts, I recently joined a local church’s choir as section leader and/or soloist after finding the opportunity on ChoralMemphis’ web site.
While I eventually landed at Lindenwood Christian Church, I also reached out to the music director of another church and sent him a clip of me singing in the process. While he had already filled the position, he asked me to come in and audition for another choir he led called the Wolf River Singers.
The Wolf River Singers are a small, but mighty, all volunteer group of men and women that gather to celebrate the choral art. I came to appreciate the choral art in high school as a member of various ensembles, earning spots in All-County, All-District, and as the number one bass in the All-State choir in 2001. I sang in college in my university’s Concert Choir for a couple of years, and I think in another life I would have majored in music or vocal performance. But it was always one of those things that I wanted to just enjoy, you know? If I had to know the ins and outs of it, if it became work, I always feared I would no longer enjoy it. But singing, as it is for most folks, has always been an outlet for me. Whether it’s singing at the top of my lungs in the shower, or making great music with a group of folks such as the Wolf River Singers, it’s something that gives me a break from the hustle and bustle of life.
This is particularly important to me as an educator because when school districts or schools are looking to make budget cuts, it’s often the arts that suffer. There are countless studies and articles that tout the benefits of the fine and performing arts on children, and in a city like Memphis that has produced so many fine and talented artists, I would hope that there would be even a greater motivation to get our kids involved in the arts in some way. From the Memphis Boys Choir, the Memphis Youth Symphony Program, and the New Ballet Ensemble & School, to programs at the Memphis College of Art, classes at the Five in One Social Club, or even taking a stab at pottery at Seize the Clay, there are so many ways to express yourself or help your child express his or herself through the arts here in Memphis. If you don’t have any kids like I don’t, consider reconnecting with your artistic side. If you used to sing, join a choir. If you used to play an instrument, pick it back up. If you used to dance, take a group class. And if you used to paint or do crafts, spend sometime making something special for someone as a gift. You need it, Memphis needs it, and the world needs it.
And if you happen to be looking for something to do next weekend, won’t you consider coming to the Wolf River Singers’ concert called “Making Connections – Finding Our Way.” It will be emceed by WKNO’s Kacky Walton on both nights: Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 7:30 pm at Church of the Holy Communion – Episcopal; and Sunday, March 19, 2017 @ 3:00 pm at St. Peter’s Catholic Church. Both concerts are open to the public with a suggested donation of $12.50 per person or what you can. I may be a bit biased, but there’s a song for everyone in this concert, and I guarantee you’ll walk away touched by the sharing of music from folks in the community.