Voices only, please

I’m a choir junkie.

It all started in junior high with a crush on Boyz II Men and their slick harmonies. My love for voices started to blossom when I auditioned for a select choir in high school and was thrilled that I got in. Being that our director at the time mostly chose a capella pieces for us to sing, I began to fall in love with that type of music.

When I got to college, I was feeling lonely, all by myself, and was starting to have slight doubts about moving a few states away for school. I then took a leap of faith and auditioned for yet another select choir–this time for a choir that strove for a high level of perfection and had even garnered a bit of local celebrity.

Joy of joys, I made it in.

Then began two busy years of being immersed in the most music I’ve ever had before in my life. Being in yet another choir, such a wonderful choir, it kept me going. Sure, I played solos on the piano, rocked percussion in wind ensembles and orchestras, accompanied a myriad of music performances…yet my true love remained in voices.

Growing up playing the piano, I’ve always been mildly irked at one particular facet of my instrument of choice: it’s lack of portability. It’s true that most places one goes, a piano is likely to be found but you never know what it’s going to sound like, how the keys are going to feel to your touch. On the other hand, there have been many places I’ve been to where I felt inspired to play something–in caves, by the ocean, on mountain tops–but didn’t have my instrument. Because of that, I’ve always looked wistfully at those who played more lightweight instruments than my own.

Which brings me to most lightweight instrument of them all: the voice.

While singing with such a great choir in college, I found that I loved a capella pieces the most. There’s something that’s fascinating to me about bringing many voices together and singing as one yet with different parts, blending “just so” that it sends goosebumps up my arms, letting pure voices mingle together to make harmonies that float effortlessly up to the sky.

I guess that’s why I’m so excited for The Sing-Off being back on television for a second season. If last year was fabulous, then this season is absolutely amazing. I can’t even begin to explain how inspired I am to be in an a capella group and recapture those feelings I’ve had for singing again.

As much as I love the piano, I definitely get more joy out of voices in harmony. If I knew enough people who had the ear for singing without instruments, voices to match, and a person to arrange all the music, I’d totally be there in a heartbeat.

Even with school dragging me around by the neck, I wouldn’t miss that kind of opportunity.

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