The Michael O’Neal Summer Singers recently performed the John Rutter Requiem in a program that also included several other pieces by the same composer. It was a wonderful performance, filled with enthusiasm, musicality, and passion. The Summer Singers chorus is unique within the Michael O’Neal Singers “family” in that it is a completely non-auditioned group, open to anyone who desires to join. The amazing thing to me every summer is how this group of people gathers (180 this summer), having never before sung together as an ensemble, and after six rehearsals is able to create a beautiful musical experience that can touch countless lives.
Music can offer a tremendous support in our lives, whether in times of sorrow or joy, confusion or clarity, solitude or community. Watching the singers during their performance of the Requiem, and then talking with them and audience members following the concert, reminded me just how powerful music is. There were in fact singers and audience members still standing around talking about their shared experience almost an hour after the program had concluded. How is it that music can have such an impact on us? I’m sure there might be a scientific answer to the question, but I prefer to believe simply that it is because music touches our hearts in profound and moving ways. I can’t imagine my life without music!