A Summer Singers Thank You & Request

I’m taking a somewhat different approach to my blog today and addressing my comments to a very specific group of people.  That group happens to be the 170+ members of The Michael O’Neal Summer Singers.  We had our first rehearsal last night and what a joyous evening it was!  I thank all of you for a an exciting beginning to what promises to be a fantastic musical experience for all of us.  I always look forward to our Summer Singers chorus because there is so much energy and enthusiasm in the room from the very first moment of the rehearsal. You may remember that I began our rehearsal by reading the comments of some previous MOS members about why they love to sing.  I mentioned that I was also going to give you the opporunity to share your reasons for why you sing.  It could be something as specific as why you joined our Summer Singers, or it might be as general as what music means to you in your daily life.  Whatever you have to say, I’d love to hear it (and I know the rest of MOSS would as well).  As we get some dialogue going, it should help us get to know each other better, and that might even make us a better chorus!

Showing 15 comments
  • Thad Peterson

    When I was in high school, my father and I were the bass section for a little church in Colorado, and it was the closest connection that I ever had with him. I left singing after high school and played an instrument in my college band, and did not start singing again until I was in my 40’s with my church in Marietta.

    As soon as I started to sing again, I knew that I needed to keep singing, it’s essential to my soul. I’ve since left the church choir and I had been looking for an outlet for quite awhile.

    Now that I’ve joined Michael O’Neal Singers, a place that was empty in my spirit is no longer.

    Thank you.

  • Anne Willcocks

    The comments you read last night pertained to me as well because of the joy and comradery that comes from simply taking a deep breath and singing. But choral work is also a kind of therapy…a way to happily maneuver through all the trials and tribulations of daily life. And I absolutely love harmony, hearing voices move with and against one another!

  • Sandy Caldwell

    Why do I sing? Because I have to! From the time I was 4, I have sung in church choirs and school choirs, but maybe the most meaningful were the times I sang just for me. I sing because I am joyously happy. I sing because I’m grateful for what God has given me. Sometimes I sing because there’s no other way to express painful emotions. Singing seems to be such a deep part of my being, that I can’t imagine life without it. It’s been several years since I have been in a choir, so Summer Singers is a wonderful addition to my life.

  • Charlotte Goldman

    My husband has asked me over the years as I return from choral rehearsals: “Did you have fun?” I have tried to explain to him that it would be more honest to say that I worked hard, was challenged, felt a sense of accomplishment, etc., especially during my 19 years with the ASO Chorus. However, last night after singing gorgeous old folk melodies and moving spirituals with a large group of enthusiastic singers, I was able to say, “Yes! I had fun!” And though age has robbed some of the “vocal gold”, I still cannot Keep from Singing!

  • Andria Dinzole

    I must “DITTO” the comment above……it is what I would have said had she not said it first …..and sometimes singing fills me with so much joy that it trickles out in tears……

  • Ruby Phelps

    The ability to sing is one of God’s greatest gifts. I feel so sorry for people who don’t know what it’s like. I have sung in church choirs in gratitude to God for that ability since I was 7 years old. Singing feeds my soul and I am empty without it. Summer Singers opens me to learn music that I may not sing in my church choir. I enjoy working with Michael and maintaining the discipline I prefer in my music to ensure that I give to the best of my ability. But, I also enjoy the enthusiasm of the group and the variety. It’s a welcome addition to my summer and I so appreciate it.

  • Francie Towey

    How Can I Keep From Singing? This year’s summer theme hits home with me. First, I have not been involved in a choir for a few years and I have missed it more than I thought I would.
    The joy of singing is even more so because I get to do this with my mom, Mary Micale, who has been an MOS summer singer for 8 years. She has been encouraging me to join, especially after leaving the church choir that we both were involved in.
    After last night’s practice, I am even more excited about joining and feel honored to be singing next to so many gifted musicians!
    There’s an old movie, Drum Line, about a young man who is a gifted drummer and joins a university band. He learns to prefer the sound of the drum line more than the sound of his own drum. This is also true of great choirs and the individual voices who come together!

  • Ruth Hill

    Singing in a choral group has been my therapy. When I am focused on singing the rest of the cares and worries seem to just fade into the background. Singing with others on a regular basis has been my therapy—–definitely cheaper than having to see a “shrink.”

  • Charles Claiborne

    I believe that there are three reasons why people sing in a choral group: the music, the director, and the camaraderie of the group. The music the Summer Singers will be performing is all literature that has stood the test of time. 100 years from now, people will still be singing a lot of that music. Michael is an extremely competent director who runs an efficient rehearsal in a businesslike manner but with a strong sense of humor. As I watched people greet and speak to each other last night, the camaraderie among the members of the group was very evident.

  • Kristen Pearson

    I think that God gave us one of the most beautiful and enjoyable ways to express our praise to Him through song, and gave us a great gift in the comfort, encouragement, and joy that it brings. I first heard the Michael O’Neal Singers when I was a kid coming to hear my grandpa sing. I remember listening to the beautiful music and an amazing organ solo and knowing I wanted to be a part of something like that. I brought my grandpa to the Messiah sing along in December and it was so much fun! Thank you for opening up this wonderful opportunity 🙂

  • Libby Rickett

    When I was twelve years old, I graduated from R.W. Lindsey Elementary School in Warner Robins, Georgia, and became a Tabor Junior High Tiger. Because I enjoyed drawing, I requested art as my first junior high elective. I never made it to the first art class, though. As it turned out, all the art classes were full. The counseling office found a place for me, instead, in chorus class.

    Mildly disappointed, I headed for the chorus trailer and not the art room on the first day of school. Little did I know that Mr. Chapman, the young, enthusiastic chorus teacher I met that day, and the members of the Tabor Junior High School Chorus, would influence my life so profoundly and completely. What a life-altering difference one scheduling change can make!

    Mr. Chapman was an excellent chorus teacher. He taught me ear training, solfège, and sight-singing. He introduced me to the likes of Antonio Lotti, Paul Hindemith, and A. Oscar Haugland. I sang my first solos for him: verses from “EresTú,” and “Those Were the Days.” A part in the comedic operetta “Speak up!” Concerts, chorus trips, All-State Chorus. Participation in chorus somehow turned junior high school, what should have been the worst of times, into the best of times . . .

    When I graduated from junior high, I continued to do what I love best: I continued to sing. I sang in high school, in college, in church, and years and years later, I now sing with the Michael O’Neal Singers and Kaleidoscope.

    Why? Is it the music itself? The music is important: the satisfaction of creating beautiful unisons and rich harmonies . . . the victory of finally getting the challenging parts . . . the magical, breathless moment at the end of every song when the singing stops but the piece is not over yet. Oh, yes. It’s about the music.

    Even more than the aesthetics of music-making, I sing because I’ve always found a home with my musical friends. From my days at Tabor to the present, the people I sing with are my musical family. Singing together, we become knit together in a common purpose. The learning and rehearsing are our family’s shared journey with all its challenges and trials. We help and support each other through the difficult times as we learn and grow. The performances are our family’s ceremonies, our victories, and our celebrations. We celebrate because each time sing, we prove that the musical whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

    Thank you, Mr. Chapman. I continue to sing because when I was twelve years old, you helped me discover that music is more than just an art: it’s a way of life.

  • Suzanne Close

    I had always sand in a church choir since highschool. My husband had a great tenor voice and I encourage him to sing in our church choir when we moved to Ga. He loved it as much as I do and for many years we sang in our church choir. Then the church went through a change and the choir was disbanded and there was only a Praise Band… Tihis change destroyed the church and it no longer exists. This was the last time we sang in a choir. We both were bitter to loose our musical outlet something we loved doing together. We would practice our parts together, anyway one of my neighbors signed me up for Summer Singers 5 years ago after she and I did an impromptu duet at our little outdoor church in Mt Park. I was immediately in love with the choir and the fact we are all from different churches, some from no church and the fact there is no audition and we sound like we have sung together constantly for years because we all share a gift, some gifts are more grand than others, but we blend and make everyone equal. Michael and Tom are the cream of the crop and we are just on cloud nine working with them!!!
    I have made so many friends whom I only see at Summer singers so not only do I look forward to seeing them, I look forward to my summer of song.
    Thanks for your time and talents Michael and Tom!

  • Cookie S Preuss


  • Reuven Dobry

    At the age of 3, according to my parents, I was able to repeat a tune just heard in a band concert. So, music must be in my blood. Thanks to my choral experience, I am now composing music and loving it. For me, singing is a blessing and continuing inspiration.

  • Mary Fletcher

    It gives me pure joy to sing, especially for and to God

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