Thursday, August 18, 2011

Singing with the Girls

All through school, I participated in anything where I could sing.   I did parent teacher nights at school, church services, conferences, weddings, or just about any other opportunity I could to sing.  Some of my fondest memories stem from high school when I sang in a girl’s quartet.

The four of us were selected specifically to sing one song for an annual competition.  We already knew each other and were friends, (it was a very small private school) but this went beyond the usual day- to- day high school interaction.  We had lots of special rehearsals, and we sang that one piece together for every occasion that school year.  To this day, I can still sing my part in my sleep!  We learned about each other’s voices, what made us sound good, how to support each other musically, and when we needed a rest.  This ‘togetherness’ spilled over into other parts of our lives.  I remember being on a bus, probably going on a field trip, learning the words to a popular tune of the day.  Once we had the melody down, we started adding harmonies, riffing off each other’s improvisations, and we sang that song all the way home.  I can still feel the excitement when one of us added a cool note, or when a harmony hit just right.   By the end of the ride, everyone else on the bus was probably really tired of that song, but we were having such a great time, we wanted to keep singing.

The four of us did a lot of things together that year.  We shopped for our competition dresses together, took a Saturday trip to Vermont together, worried about boys together, and yes, we took first place in the annual competition together.  Our reward from the school was we took a 2 day trip to Boston with our teacher.  The highlight of the trip was touring the USS Constitution, “Old Ironsides”.  As mentioned, we did attend a private school, and even on this trip, we all wore our school uniforms, so we attracted a bit of attention.  I remember the sailors asking us why we were dressed alike, and we replied with school and we were a girl’s quartet.  That intrigued them so they asked us to sing right there on the ship. We sang our competition song for our tour guide sailors.  We were on the bottom deck, so our voices rose up and echoed throughout the ship.  By the time we finished singing, sailors from every part of the ship had heard us and came rushing down to see what was going on.  It was such a thrill to see their faces as we sang on the historic old ship.  Our song that we had sung together all year seemed selected just for them.

“From every stormy wind that blows,
From every swelling tide of woes,
There is a calm, a sure retreat—
'Tis found beneath the mercy seat.

There is a place where Jesus sheds
The oil of gladness on our heads,
A place than all besides more sweet—
It is the blood-bought mercy seat.

  There is a scene where spirits blend,

 Where friend holds fellowship with friend;
  Though sundered far, by faith they meet
  Around one common mercy seat.”

Although we don’t see each other much anymore, these girls and I stay in touch through the social media outlets available these days.  Music continues to be a big part of our lives and we are blessed to be able to share it.  The songs that we sang together still come to me at times, making me smile with joy at the memories,  and inspire me to keep singing.

1 comment:

  1. Awww, that's so sweet!!! I have a lot of good musical memories too. See my fb for a video of me playing in church last Sunday with my trombone-player son. It's on youtube, Matt Crozier The Lord's Prayer! Anne