We get together at least three times a week to sing. There are sopranos, altos, tenors, and basses. There’s music. We give concerts and sing songs … if it looks like a choir, practices like a choir, and sounds like a choir, it must be a choir, right?
Well…yes and no.
Because while Sing Portland! definitely does all the things that a choir does, there’s a bigger picture at play too — one that’s so important that it forms the foundation of every single thing we do. The heart and soul of Sing Portland! isn’t just the singing, or the music, or the performances.
It’s the connection.
When I first created Sing Portland!, I had a vision. Not your typical vision of us winning choral competitions, or putting out an album or even singing with great soloists, none of the normal “choir things”. Instead, I wanted to create a space where a group of total strangers could come together and, through the magic that is raising our voices together, reconnect on the deepest, human to human level.
That’s why Sing Portland! isn’t just about learning a few songs or having something to do on a weeknight. It’s about connecting with the people around you. It’s about harmonizing, vocally, physically, and in spirit. It’s about remembering that ultimately, we’re all part of a bigger whole, however isolated or lonely we might feel at any given time. It’s about remembering the goodness in the world, even in the face of fear.
And it’s about you.
You overcoming your fears, and regaining confidence in your own voice. (Which of course, naturally flows over into the other areas of your life.) You allowing music to remind you of what’s important in your life. You finding comfort in standing with a group that absolutely supports you, right down to the last person, not because you’re “the best” singer or because you’re impressing everyone, but simply because you are.
Sing Portland! is about remembering who you are as a person, and who we are as a whole.
That’s why there’s never any auditions, never any pressure to do or not do anything. It’s why we sing the inspiring, multicultural songs we sing, instead of sticking to the old choir standards. It’s why you can show up the week before a performance and be just as welcome as if you were there on day one of the term. Because ultimately, the choir is kind of a front.
The music is the medium. The heart is the message.
A message of encouragement, hope, empathy, and love, from me to you, and from us to each other. Every single week. As simple — and as beautifully, humanly complex — as that.