Mahhh-Mayyyy-Mahhhh-Mayyyy, (inhale) Ma-Me-Ma-Me-Ma-Me-Ma-Me, (faster) Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma- Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma-Maaayyyyy…Breathe!
Thanks to our rising star choir teacher Petula Beckles, we take breathing exercises (like the one above) to open our lungs to better aid in our singing. We’re not perfect, but we are getting better.
Every Thursday, the church sanctuary is lit up with the voices of youth (ages 16 – 35). Sometimes we sing so loud, people outside take a peek into the sanctuary to see what’s going on. I like that. It’s a softer and more passive way of evangelising to people of what our church’s youth can do. (It’s amazing the talent that youth have if you take a better look.)
My love for singing began when I was in the sixth grade. Our school was forming a group to compete against other school choirs in the region. Those interested could audition. I did, got to join the group, and later learned what being a soprano was. My high pitched voice stood out among the crowd and I loved the attention–but I quickly discovered that being in a choir meant being uniformed, singing together, not always taking the lead. Through weeks of practice our little group of eight made it to the finals in the competition setting our hopes high. We didn’t win (sadly), but that loss never deterred me from singing.
Through my high school and college years up till now, I continue to sing. I never forgot my choir teachers through those years. Where are they? I don’t know. But I am thankful for the opportunity to be guided under their wings and hope they still help youth to sing. I believe singing helps youth to listen effectively, establish teamwork, and overcome stage fright (for the most part). But over the years as I’ve joined choirs, I’ve come to believe that singing also has powerful effects of ministering through song.
Sometimes when I stand on stage to perform, a sea of faces look back on me and I immediately read their silent cries of hopelessness, heartache, suffering, financial woes, and more. That’s alleviated when the choir sings its song. I glance back at those faces and there seems to be a rayof hope amidst their despair. They’re smiling and clapping their hands and praising God for His wonders.
I’m reminded in Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV), “But they that hope in the Lord shall renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” When I sing, I’m reminded of that verse and it shows. Some people say when I sing they feel better because I sing from the heart. That’s how I want it to be. The song in my heart is a reminder that despite the painful woes and fears of this world that we can be hopeful. We may fall, but we don’t have to linger on the ground, we can get up (as the famous Donnie McLurkin says).
Our choir sings this weekend and I know we’ll “blow the roof” as they say (I’m still getting the lingo), but as long as I can help someone to be reminded that they are worth living, that care and support is never far of reach, that they can have peace of mind, I continue to inspire when I sing.