It was the first Talent Show in our short two year life span. And it was awesome. Lots of surprises! People went home elated.








An Indonesian lullaby accompanied by singing wine glasses.  Someone dusted off his trumpet after not having played it for years.  Someone got back on his unicycle after umpteen years. We found out we have composers among our singers…

Some embraced their first solo.  An entire family on stage. People sharing their love for a new instrument (tabla drums, ukelele).  Three women had learned a song off YouTube by The Lone Bellow. This list is not complete – 18 people shared something they’re passionate about. Pure delight!

Yet… I was also struck by how many performers apologized with some variation on “not being good enough”, or not going to be as good as the talent we just heard or saw.  Really.  It simply hurt to hear my beloved singers say that.  After two hours of such a beautiful and authentic sharing I saw everyone go home touched, inspired, and their hearts wide open. The smile on my face lasted until the next day!


There’s a billboard near my house that says “You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent”.  It is because of the imperfections that we can improve and polish off our “endeavors”.

Nelson Mandela nailed it when he said: “Don’t judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” For… and here’s another quote by Nelson Mandela: “The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall.”

heavenmcarthur-portland-sings-220-mediumResSo next time you hear a little quiver in your voice because you’re so excited to give your song away. Or next time you miss an entire passage of a song, enjoy the opportunity to rise again.  Ben Zander, author of “The Art of Possibility”, a cellist and conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, encourages us to jump up at any mistake and say, with a big smile “How fascinating!!!”. He inspires us to have fun getting up on our feet again.

Lynn Twist, author of the book “Soul of Money“, and founder of The Hunger Project says the three biggest lies in the world are:

  • there is not enough
  • more is better
  • that’s just the way it is

Instead, sufficiency is the surprising truth!








Dare you be enough? Dare you have enough? Dare you do enough to make any changes you want for a better world?

How does all that relate to singing???

We can hear plenty of “perfect” musicians on edited CDs and video’s. When you hear people making music, isn’t it listening to the reality of life that inspires you? The struggle you can relate to. The break throughs. The rising. The insights. The new vision on where to go next, because now you know.

So next time you share your song or any other talent… Yes you betcha you are talented!!!  …skip the apologies. Think of all the pieces of life that make those notes inspiring to those who truly listen.

I dare you to be good enough.  I dare you to embrace your talent.  Dare to give yourself the pleasure of sharing your work in progress.   Life is a work in progress.  Dare to sing your song on its way to perfection.

In Marianne Williamson’s words: “We are all meant to shine, as children do.  As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Darn right she is!


I bet you can think of lots of opportunities to practice the thoughts above. If you’re inspired to do so with Sing Portland! – here are our upcoming events:

11082342_10206561843709405_7954826853567020423_oSaturday April 18th 10:15am Sing Portland Kids! – Sing Portland! now also hosts singing workshops for children and their adults. This Saturday’s theme: Animals in Spring time.  Check events page for monthly workshops – each with a different theme. Co-taught by the fabulous Jenna Dalton. More on our collaboration in the next blog post… Workshop at 5915 SE Division Street, PDX 97206.

6390531Saturday April 18th 7:30pm – Sing for your Bubbles – over an hour of singing Bobby McFerrin, Billy Joel, a South African classic, a jazz tune, and then some. And then… you’ll be treated to sparkling chardonnay and dessert. Who can resist that??? $5 suggested donation. 5915 SE Division Street, PDX 97206.

Saturday May 2nd 9-10am – performance at PSU Farmer’s Market downtown. Free and loads of fun. Plenty of opportunities for audience to participate. We’ll get y’all singing : )

20150213_145637Sunday May 3rd 7:30pm – Sing for your Sweets – over an hour of singing a sweet and diverse repertoire of popular, jazz, world and African music, and then you’re rewarded with a scrumptious dessert (raw, vegan, healthy and delish). 5915 SE Division Street, PDX 97206

Saturday May 23rd 7:30-9pm – Singing Party – Sun arising in my Soul – We’ll sing you our repertoire of the last five months.  Some songs will be sung to you (we call that experience: giving you a choral bath), some for you, and some with you.  Grand feast of singing followed by a potluck provided by our singers.  Red Rose Ballroom on 1829 NE Alberta Street

5205061Summer Term of African songs runs from June 2nd to July 25th. ALways a very popular term.  Your choir is taking a summer break and you want to keep singing? Join Sing Portland this summer. This summer we offer Tuesday rehearsals 7-9pm in NE and Thursday rehearsals 6:30-8:30pm in the SE. Register here.

Come sing with us!