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Part 4 Interview - The Quickening Art of Choral Music


The Choral Artisans perform at Wendell Phillips

Here's Part 4 of my conversation with Gary Boring on how singing with a group can impact the whole person (physical, emotional and spiritual). For previous discussions, visit here for Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

How has singing with a group impacted you physically, emotionally and spiritually?

The practice schedule for the Choral Artisans has been somewhat challenging, as most evenings, I’m winding down by 8 or so, since I have three good 4 hour segments in my day.  Practicing near the end of my last good segment requires concentration and perseverance on my part.  I try to be discreet about it, but I’m sure it shows.  Singing seems to boost my endorphins.  Parkinson’s also can affect the vocal chords.  My upper range has been affected, but I can tell it’s coming back with use.

Singing has always been an emotional activity for me.  I get a rush out of an entry that is perfect, or a chord that sends chills up my spine. Singing brings back memories of former times and relationships.

Relationally, I love the social aspects of singing.  I knew a few of the CA members coming in, but I have met many new friends whom I would have never known had I not joined CA.  A camaraderie develops among the members of a singing group not unlike a sports team.  It is a mystical connection that is not easily described.

A part of that mystical connection is the spiritual aspect of shared singing.  Music has healing, reconciling qualities.  It is possible to sing without being spiritually moved, but that requires singing without paying attention to context, words, harmonies, and the like.  It is a very sterile form of music that is uninspired and sterile.  I am much more drawn to music that has a spiritual quality because the deep nap of the fabric is probed, and not just the surface.  CA provides the opportunity for that to occur.

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