Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sweet Singing in the Choir

Our choir director’s name is Olivia Hutchinson. As Catherine says of her, “Olivia, I would sing for you anytime, anyplace, anywhere”.

The performance music is in black binders which we pick up. She sings our notes before the pianist has turned the page to the next song.

She tells us to try singing as though we were speaking as Nemo does in Finding Dory and then she makes us practise this – no music, only words until we have the long drawn out sound on the vowels. 

Then she tells us to sing O Holy Night as though we were Nemo and we come to the words, “Fall on your your knees. The whole choir stops singing in amazement at the sound we have just made. 

“Don’t be too proud of yourselves,” she cautions. “We have more lines of music to sing and shouldn’t stop here.”

The piece de resistance comes at the end of choir practise. Anyone who still has a voice and desire walks through softly falling snow to the Villa Maria Metro stop (this is a block away from the church). We gather in a flat space behind the escalators and sing Christmas carols. The high ceilings and the huge space in the cavernous metro rotunda makes our voices sound much better than they are.

Little families are there -- now on their way home from church.  Last week Catherine brought Christmas hats for the small ones to wear. This week I noticed children who were old enough just held their choir parent’s hands and sung along.

Last week, metro patrons came over to give us money.

“No. We have no way to accept money. Donate it to a good cause of your choice.”

Today there was loud clapping.

Some people perch on a window ledge. Others gaze out the window as though they are unaware of the sound they are hearing. An old man lay on a metro bench, his knees tucked up so that he would fit on the concrete slab, a duffle bag under his head for a pillow. His eyes stayed closed as we sang.

Olivia, I would sing for you anytime, anyplace, anywhere.

And especially in the metro.


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