Authored by Laura Main Webster ’91, Middle School Music Teacher & Upper School Vocal Arts Director
The act of singing is transformative. Research shows that when you sing, endorphins are released. The act of deep breathing brings a sense of deep peace while also energizing the body by bringing in more oxygen to the brain. We become alert and refreshed. Making art and beautiful sound with our bodies transforms us. When we sing with a group, we begin to entrain with them: our voices either match pitch or are in harmony with the others. By keeping the beat and breathing together, our heartbeats actually sync. We are transformed as a group. This transformation is then expressed to an audience when we perform.
At times, performing arts are simply entertainment, a chance to hear or see something beautiful, but sometimes it is more. Think back on a time when you attended a performance and left feeling different than when you arrived, considering something new, or being moved to tears or laughter. You were transformed.
Sharing the stage
At the April 24 Vocal Arts Spring Showcase, HB singers and women from the Jordan Community Resource Center will share the stage and transform together through powerful music.
The partnership, called Blue Diamonds, is focused on transformation. Women utilize the Jordan Community Resource Center as they transition from circumstances, such as human trafficking, addiction, homelessness, domestic violence, and incarceration. Together through song, HB singers want to bring awareness to the plight of these women and for the audience to know them as mothers and daughters and friends.
The showcase starts at 7:30 p.m. in Hathaway Brown’s Ahuja Auditorium.
The partnership began in December when students from each HB division and the women from Jordan joined together for a holiday sing-a-long. We shared stories of holiday traditions and sang holiday favorites. Welcomed by a gospel setting of Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I a Woman,” performed by HB singers, the women from Jordan visited HB for a second time in January for a special lunch and workshop. We sat in small groups and shared the stories and origins of our names.
Ms. Tenisha Watson, the leader and founder of the center, inspired us with the mission of the Jordan Community Resource Center and I explained the purpose of this collaboration which we are calling Blue Diamonds. Finally, we all learned the song, “Yonder Come Day” a spiritual from the Georgia Sea Islands. As we sang and walked by each other, smiling with the feeling of the song embodied in the text: “Sun is risin’ in my soul”, I knew this project would transform everyone who is a part of it.
On March 1 ladies from Jordan came to sing with the choir, create a project for our spring concert with a select group of singers and told part of their stories.
We will be having more time with the ladies from Jordan to sing and talk, and this project will culminate at our Spring Showcase where we will sing together on stage, as well as on May 1 at Trinity Cathedral at 12 p.m. for a performance during our tour day.