On the dawn of our tenth year, here are nine key things we’ve learnt about group singing - and the world - in our nine years running Starling Arts!
Group singing is all about people
Anyone can sing, almost anywhere. Singing alone is fun, and it can feel good. But something magical happens when we are able to share our voices with others. A choral sound can be the most thrilling to make, and every voice contributes to make a totally unique sound. The feeling of creating that with others is unbeatable.
2. The best moments are the unexpected ones
After our recent trip to Ghent, we asked our group to name their favourite memory of their time there. While there had been a packed agenda of sight-seeing, singing and socials, the moment that stuck out was an impromptu Flashmob we’d been part of while stranded at Brussels railway station. This is true for many events or rehearsals (and life outside choir too) - the treasured moments are those that weren’t planned or orchestrated, but instead the tender, human flickers of joy that emerge from being part of a group of like-minded people.
3. Singing is the strongest glue
Many a special relationship has been formed through song, and our choirs are testimony to that. Marriages, housemates, close friendships and business allegiances continue to emerge from our spellbinding community, and the power to support each other never ceases to amaze us!
4. Singing gives you all the feels
From tears of joy to those of grief or sorrow, singing has been a powerful outlet for us and our singers for the past nine years. We’ve brought audiences to their feet, and our singers too have felt every emotion both through the music, and because of it. From frustration moving to the satisfaction of nailing a tricky harmony or dance move, to pride and love for the group achievement, singing brings out, exercises and celebrates our emotions.
5. Singing is the best gift when you need it the most
After a tough day, sometimes all we want is to crawl into bed. But we have found that if you can convince yourself to get to choir, the singing will lift you. Sure, it can’t solve every problem, but it can make things lighter, more manageable and any day that little bit brighter.
6. Singing is a mighty medicine
As leaders, we’ve had to run rehearsals and events with migraines, viruses and even in the midst of grieving. Just when you think you can’t get through, you sing a little more and the pain eases, just enough to get you through.
7. The joy is in the process
Sure, performances are thrilling, and give us massive hits of happiness. But for us, the real beauty is in the process. While a rehearsal process isn’t always pretty, it’s where we make the most discoveries, both about ourselves and the music. In life too, we have learnt to better enjoy the moments as they unravel, rather than waiting for goals to be reached to be happy.
8. Choir is about so much more than singing
Choir has proved to be a very special community. A school, a retreat, a place of joy and love. We have laughed, cried and grown together. Here’s to our tenth year bringing even more surprises.
9. The best is yet to come
Every year, we have be astounded by the discoveries everyone has made. Through singing together, we have grown together and each new challenge has been valuable. So in this tenth year, we can’t wait to put everything together in our biggest ever celebration of the power of group singing, and, as this post shows, so much more.
What have you learnt from Starling Arts? Share your thoughts below!