Singing for heart and soul

Leonard Cohen - still thrilling audiences at 76 years old!

Last night – for the second time – I watched the movie ‘Young at Heart’. It’s transmission to television audiences coincides with the Young at Heart chorus’s current tour of New Zealand.

I enjoyed the movie second time around just as much as I did the first time, even shedding tears in the same poignant moments.

Unless you’re a singer, my guess is that it’s hard to comprehend how the act of singing feeds the body and soul. It is such an awesome feeling when you get all the ‘ducks in a row’ – connecting breathing with producing a beautiful melodic line that hits all the right notes. It’s not easy … and it’s very physical.

One of the elderly chorus members from Young at Heart tried to express that feeling. What they all expressed was was the supreme fellowship experienced when singing with a choir – a group of people brought together by  love of music, the joy of sharing and the thrill of entertaining. The eldest when the documentary was made was 93 – she had a wicked sense of humour and an irrepressible spirit. Nothing was going to stop her … she even had ‘late leave’ from her rest home and her own key to let herself in when she arrived home late from a concert!

My friends in the Orpheus Choir share a real buzz when we’ve got it right, when our conductor grins and nods, and when the audience bursts into applause. Standing ovations (most recently for our performance of the Messiah) are a wonderful acknowledgment for our hard work and dedication.

Singing keeps you agile and totally engaged; it challenges your mind and body and feeds you at the same time.

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