I Sing

Vocal Arts Ensemble, Santa Croce Basilica, Florence, Italy

Last night San Luis Obispo Vocal Arts Ensemble sang the final concert for this concert year. It was, as usual, MAGICAL.

We sang some of the most difficult arrangements that I can remember in my 12 years with the Vocal Arts. We had two all day retreats, rehearsals every Tuesday, group practices in our voice sections, countless hours in individual practice. We even gave up a holiday to add in one more practice.

We didn’t feel prepared. We were making mistakes. Mistakes that we noticed and knew we could do better. We were frustrated.

But performance dates don’t wait. And perform we did.

At the end of the show we got not one, but TWO standing ovations.

Not bad for a community choir that has singers ranging in age from 21 to 79 and generally practices for three hours once a week.

We are all amateurs. We just love to sing. Somehow we seem to always get it together for a performance. I couldn’t tell you the formula. I can’t point to one thing that makes it happen but it does.

One of the songs that we sang last night was “Earth Song” by Ticheli and Whitacre. It speaks directly to why I and those 53 other people around me work so hard.

I am not a poet. Frank Ticheli is. These are his words:

Earth Song
Sing, Be, Live, See
This dark stormy hour,
the wind, it stirs.
The scorched Earth cries out in vain.Oh war and power, you blind and blur. The torn heart cries out in pain.

But music and singing have been my refuge,
and music and singing shall be my light.

A light of song, shining strong.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah.

Through darkness and pain and strife,
I’ll sing, I’ll be, live, see.


Music is my refuge. It allows me to BE. It allows me to LIVE. It allows me to SEE.


Singing with Vocal Arts has made that refuge a family. I have been able to meet people from all walks of life, from different countries, different cultures.
I never would have gone to Italy or Austria or Slovinia or France without Vocal Arts.
If I hadn’t been accepted into VAE I probably would never have met any of the people there. (excluding my daughter from that speculative phrase. I had already met her!)
I never would have met my friend Leigh. If I hadn’t met Leigh, I wouldn’t have taken the trip to the Mediterranean last year or gone to the Antarctica this year. I wouldn’t have sung a duet with her in a little chapel in a little Italian seaside village. I wouldn’t have the memory of a seal pup on a floating iceberg when I sang “Seal Lullaby”.
Music has brought so much wonder and love into my life. The warmth of it seeps into every part of me.
I sing.
Categories: Family, Music, Singing, song, Uncategorized, Vocal Arts EnsembleTags: , , , , , , ,


  1. Congratulations to all concerned

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How wonderful. Singing can be so therapeutic and look where it has taken you. Found you on Senior Salon.

    Liked by 1 person

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