Thursday, April 14, 2005

Lament for a Lost Voice

When Chris, my son, was a baby, I sang to him. I had always loved singing, and my two sisters and I, when very young, regularly performed for the grandparents, plus others willing to listen. Later, as a member of the church choir and high school chorus, I had the opportunity to sing to my heart’s content.

Then, when my daughter Carrie was only a few months old, my thyroid was removed and my vocal chords were damaged. I actually lost my voice for several months, and choked every time I tried to drink. My singing voice was gone forever, and I had once been a soprano.

I enjoyed listening to my own children as they performed in school productions. I was astonished several times by each of the four kids when they auditioned for parts or sang solos. Carrie and Coral were members of choral groups, performing wonderful music. The girls and Craig, my youngest, were seriously involved in musicals during their school years. I loved those times, and I worked in makeup, props, and box office. Carrie was even in an opera at Shea’s Buffalo Center for the Performing Arts, when she was older. Chris plays guitar and sings music he has written.

Now my granddaughters are carrying the torch. Allie, in her work with the Duke Chapel Choir, continues to amaze. The choir is a 150-member organization that performs in the fabulous Duke Chapel, a Gothic cathedral-like edifice. They also travel to other locations on occasion, nationally and internationally, such as Carnegie Hall.

I am able to watch the Sunday services and concerts on the Chapel website, and it is an important part of my week. I have been able to see Allie, in the front section of the choir, close up and personal. As the group files down the very long nave in the chapel, to the fabulous accompaniment of the massive organ, and perhaps a chamber orchestra, my breath is taken away by the pomp and circumstance. I want to be there.

“I have not forgotten you, my other grandchildren. I am not able to hear you in your endeavors because we are so far apart. Perhaps one day I will be able to hear some of your performances.” Grace, a twelve-year-old, already has a good start, as a member of the Florida All State Chorus, and the groups in her school. She has done a bit of traveling for concerts, and is in Orlando at this moment for that purpose.

Unable to sing now, I have to be satisfied with listening to others. At least I can do that. At least I am able to hear. I would be totally depressed if I could not enjoy music. I think the human voice is one of the most beautiful instruments.


Post a Comment

<< Home