I recently joined a choir. It’s an informal weekly thing that I had been hearing about from friends for ages; a group of 50 or so people get together in a bar or rehearsal space and practice, and then record, a couple of songs. “It’s so fun!,” everyone said. I noticed that my choir-member friends seemed uniquely dedicated to their practices — as in, “I can’t make it to your dinner party, I have choir that night.” So I finally decided to check it out for myself, and it was love at first note.
One of the best things about it is the pure joy and positivity every member of the choir exhibits. (Not in an obnoxious, over-the-top-Pollyannaish way; just in a welcoming, good natured way.) Every week, cynicism and bad moods are checked at the door, and we just pick up our sheet music, pick up a beer and sing along to a song almost all of us can remember from our teen years. (Last week, it was Wham’s “Freedom” and Big Star’s “Ballad of El Goodo”; when I was around 15, I used to rock out to the first one and fall asleep while listening to the second one on repeat.) It’s kind of like high school, without a popular table. For some songs, I like to stand right in front and for others I hang around in the back, gossiping with friends. (See? Just like high school.) It’s the highlight of even the best of weeks.
But the best thing about choir is that it’s just fun. That’s it! It’s not about networking and no one’s being paid. It’s not a social obligation. It’s not a crazy pick-up scene — or any scene at all, really. It’s just a bunch of really nice people getting together once a week to do something for the pure joy of it. It’s a bit weird that the older I get the more I need reminding to do stuff just because I like it. I have more success with this in the summer — when I break out my bike and badminton racquets — than I do in the winter, but this is an area of my life that definitely needs improvement. So I’m starting with choir, and one happily reminiscent song at a time.