Why I Sing?
During a focus group at a Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus membership retreat a while back, I talked about how important being a member of the chorus is to me. Now, over three years later, I’ve been asked by another member, who had attended that focus group, to repeat some of what I said for this blog, He recalled that my words felt moving and sincere. Apparently something I said had made an impression on him!
But what, exactly, did I say? Honestly I didn’t remember…
– I probably mentioned how cool it has been to cultivate diverse gay friendships at someplace other than a gay bar.
– Hopefully I discussed how exciting it is to be a part of the artistry, and the message, that embodies such a chorus. And how the pride and appreciation from friends and family following performances are rewards that I will cherish forever.
– It’s possible that I touched on how my own sense of pride, self worth, and accomplishment has been encouraged and enhanced through participating in this unique organization.
– I may have even revealed how volunteering for the chorus’ fund-raising, marketing, and leadership endeavors had unexpectedly also taught me how to tell anyone in the world that I’m gay, without it sounding like an apology.
– And if I was being especially long-winded, I should have pointed out how just the presence of an institution like the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus, within our Central Ohio community, enriches currents of tolerance, understanding, acceptance and unity. And, how the effect of these gentle currents, with time, has the power to transform social landscapes in enlightened, meaningful, and enduring ways.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
~ Maya Angelou
Who knows what I actually said back in that focus group three years ago. For that matter, I suspect that most people who’ve heard the chorus recently would have a hard time remembering any of the songs performed. But, they will remember how beautiful or moving or entertaining the experience was to them. And, my fellow chorus member certainly remembers how the things I said three years ago reverberated with him.
Yeah, so that’s it then – that’s why I sing! To use music and lyrics that audiences won’t remember, to convey feelings they’ll never forget.