One of the things that gives me the most joy in living is singing in a choir. Here in Spain, I sing alto in two choirs. One of them is Crescendo International Choir. This group of 50 or so of us are mostly retired people who live on the Costa Blanca but come from all over Europe. There are singers from England, Holland, Scandinavia and Spain, among other countries. There are even two of us from the United States. We sing a variety of popular songs in English, Spanish and other languages too, such as Let it Be by the Beatles, Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen and Viva La Vida by ColdPlay. The other choir I am in is Andante International Choir. Like Crescendo, there are people in the choir from at least 10 different countries. We sing mostly classical music. Both choirs give concerts in the area, with the money raised going to worthy causes in the community.
Right now, in Andante International Choir, we are rehearsing the Requiem by the well-known English composer John Rutter. This is such a beautiful piece of music. Here is a link to the Rivertree Singers and Friends performing this awe-inspiring work with a full orchestra. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Bz39xh5Boc&t=918s.
Rutter’s Requiem has five pieces in Latin including Requiem Aeternam, Pie Jesus, Sanctus, Agnus Dei and Lux Aeterna. It also includes two psalms that Rutter set to music in English. They are Out of the Deep (Psalm 130) and The Lord is my Shepherd (Psalm 23). I absolutely love John Rutter’s music and got to sing some of his works while he was conducting a community singing event when I lived in Ireland. I was visiting Armagh, in Northern Ireland, to do genealogical research on my mother’s family. They are from Armagh as well as the Republic of Ireland. Rutter happened to be doing a community sing while I was there. So I happily attended the event at an Anglican Church in town, along with several hundred other people.
As I have gotten older, I have become more interested in singing and listening to religious works, hymns of praise to God. I even have a tattoo on my ankle that is a musical staff set at an upward angle. I got this at a tattoo parlor in Los Angeles near Grauman’s Chinese Theater, where all the stars are set into the sidewalk. The staff is set upwards because it is reaching up to the heavens. To me, singing is a great way to worship God while connecting with others to make beautiful melodies.
In summary, this blog post is simply one in praise of music. Thank God for music. It brings such joy to so many people. What kind of music do you like, dear reader?