Monday, October 30, 2017

Singing, At A Different Level (Part 1)

According to research, singing - the vocal production of musical tone is so ancient that it even predates the development of spoken language.

I am exploring this topic because I wanted to share, my experience - possibly leaving an internet  footprint of the journey which all started, back in my kindergarten years, me, being a member of the choir.

Singing, at a different level.

Late 1989, it has all begun. It's the so-called, PNK Choir, a children's worship service choir dedicated to singing praises of worship in children's worship service of the Church of Christ (INC) - a religion re-established in the Philippines in July 27, 1914.

Each locale congregation of the INC has their own adult choir and children's choir. I started joining the latter during one of the year-end Thanksgiving - the choir is not the ordinary choir for children where you gather only if there are performances. This one requires discipline, efforts, sacrifices, faith and love. We practice weekly because the service is every Sunday, the hymns we sing during the Children's Worship Service must be practiced first before we perform our duties. During special occasions such as the mid-year Thanksgiving and year-End Thanksgiving, our rehearsal sessions are more rigorous, at times - spending more than an hour as we learn the notes, the hymns and tones of the numbers we are going to sing, led by the organist and the choir director.

At a young age, the foremost remembrance of me being in the choir is the unexplained feeling that pours over me as i walk the aisle of the church going to the choir loft; this happens on Thanksgiving Days. During Sunday worship services (PNK), i get to experience also an overflowing of calming, yet powerful emotions, something i couldn't describe when i was younger, and later unraveled as i received the truth during the indoctrination period.

With the endless weekly practice - a habit was not only formed at an early young age, the dedication (as a virtue) unbeknownst to me at that time were instilled; there were times - that i would ask and remind my folks for them to prep me for the practices or worship - and although i wonder why they smile back then, i now realized the reasons of their reactions as i progressed in my calling as an officer  - as a choir member.

Looking back further, and trying now to put my adult self in a child's shoes, on the way it gives importance to the duty of being in the choir - i highly think that the perseverance shown by my child-self back then was not driven mainly by my liking or being interested to sing in a choir, but because, something else is driving it at a larger scale. It was a gift bestowed, from a higher, divine calling. And that gift was a force that made me embraced the duty to being in the choir.

It is like when you give a precious gift to a child - he will adore it, care for it, wants it every moment, and at times they even wanted the gift lay close to them in bed. But what's making a difference being a member of the choir, singing on a weekly basis during your childhood years imparted, is that, this precious gift is considered as a renewed present, every time it was being performed(worship days), or being prepared (hymn practice). Which then makes it loop, an endless craving to do more, perform more and look forward more to the days of rehearsals, and worship services.

Another recollection from my memory performing in the choir as a child is the flowing of tears freely from within as we sang those hymns of praises, it's quite puzzling - from an adult non-INC's perspective - as to why the children cry during their hymn singing. Yet, in contrast to my own thoughts now as an adult inside the INC - as i observe the children singing hymns specially during Thanksgiving Days, i can see my child-self  to them when i was younger. Joyously reverberating the hymns from their young voices, echoing the powerful hymns of praises they rehearsed at a young mind and heart. The reason?, it was because of the Holy Spirit's grace and companionship.

Indeed, singing at a different level - a level where compassion and  divine spiritual inspiration were infused in the performance of a holy duty.



This is the part 1 of this article - encompassing my experience as a member of the Children's Worship Choir inside the Church of Christ.

I shall write soon the journey of my being in the Juniors Choir.

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