By Rey Lambatin, Choir Director
The last quarter of 2019 has been emotionally challenging for me. In the last months of the past year, I learned that three of my close and dear friends are battling cancer. These are friends with whom I spend a lot of time and share a lot of memories. This cancer feels very close to home. I know that medical technology has advanced greatly that having this disease doesn’t necessarily mean inescapable end, but past experiences with other friends and acquaintances have shown me that it’s not an easy battle to go through. Even with just the thought of losing any of my friends, made me feel uneasy, helpless, and afraid. But, through this unexpected disorder and chaos, I always find solace and comfort from things that are constant in my life right now. My loving and supportive husband, Mike, reading simple Facebook posts from family and friends in the Philippines, casual get-togethers with friends here, and the thing that always does amazing work to help lift my down spirit, MUSIC. Singing and playing the piano is therapy for me. Almost always, I feel happy when I’m making music. After a long day of work and doing errands, rehearsing and directing the choirs continually bring joy and renew my spirit (although it may not always show).
Any of us who have sung in choirs know all too well the joy it brings not just the audiences, but also the choir members themselves. And why wouldn’t it? When we raise our voices with lots of other gorgeous voices in a big, beautiful space, it feels like we’re altering molecules. The power, the mojo that this (relatively) small time commitment offers… how is it possible? Well, according to various scientific reports, we ARE altering molecules… inside our brains, with different changes occurring whether listening to music, singing, or singing with others. (from an article by Jaime Babbitt, Your Brain and Singing: Why Singing in a Choir Makes You Happier)
A new year brings new hope for all of us, and 2020 shouldn’t be any different. I particularly hope for healing this year, for my friends who are battling cancer, and for everyone who are dealing with different kinds of illnesses. It is also my hope that the power of music help bring healing to spirits that are down, as it does to me.
A blessed new year to all.
Christ the Good Shepherd
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