While you are reading this I'm in my home country Finland celebrating the 25th anniversary of the university choir I was a member of back in the golden student days of mine.
It's going to be the whole nine yards: the concert, the cocktail party, singing, the ball (get to wear some high heels!), dancing until the sunrise, more singing, Sunday morning brunch with friends, singing with lost voice, sad-eyed goodbyes.
I don't exaggerate much if I say that spending awfully lot of time in the choir during my university years really changed my life.
Our choir is (or I should say "was") a mixed choir and students from all the faculties were welcome to join. Sure, some singing skills were appreciated.
It's never too late to join a choir and for those of you who think it could be fun I say yes - go for it!
Why should you? Because of these reasons:
- Doing music together is one of the greatest things you can do. It just feels good. You learn all the time about yourself, about your singing technique and most of all - about working together with others.
- You get friends for a lifetime. When you spend hundreds, even thousands of hours with the same people in rehearsal halls, tour buses, back stages and parties, you really get to know many of your fellow singers. They've seen you in a pretty vulnerable state of mind, singing your heart out, so nothing after that actually can surprise them.
- You get a huge network. I didn't think about it ten years ago, but now I see what a great thing it is when you always know someone who can answer even your silliest questions. Whenever I need to consult a doctor, a biochemist, a lawyer, an archaeologist, a music teacher, a historian - I'll just drop a line to some of my friends. Nowadays social media makes it so easy to stay in touch even though you live abroad.
- By singing both sacral and profane music you learn languages, history, popular culture - you name it. Music is not born in a vacuum. It reflects the time it was born in. It's quite of a time jump to get to sing medieval music in a medieval church. Man, then you really feel that you are just a part of this whole linear or circular system of generations. It somehow puts things at their right place.
- You get great friends and if you are as lucky as I am, you can even find The One. I couldn't have got any lower: I found him on the second bass section.