Until now. In September I auditioned (singing the lucky song that got me into the Girls' Select choir sophomore year of highschool: "Puff the Magic Dragon") for La Chorale Polyphonique de Casablanca-- an amateur choir that does a very good job of sounding professional. A close friend of Othman's mom, Marie, (who actually traveled with her husband Jamal all the way to our South Dakota wedding) has sung with the choir for years. I went with my mother in law to watch their concert last May and put simply, I was blown away. It was an hour-plus of absolute, cathartic joy. I went up to Marie immediately afterwards begging her to help me get involved as well.
True to her word, this September Marie put me in touch with the choir director Marie-Claire, who is incidentally the mother of one of Othman's best friends from his schooldays. She is incredibly talented, works extremely hard and has been organizing and directing the choir with absolutely no pay for more than ten years. She really is inspirational. Right now we're working on arrangements of "Te Deum" (Karl Jenkins), "The Battle of Jericho" (spiritual), "I've got Rhythm" (George and Ira Gershwin), and are about to start a monster of a song called "Les Djinns". She just sent us the link below to begin getting a feel for it. The choir focuses on three areas of music: classic choir music, world music and more traditionally Moroccan music. There is only one concert a year, in May, but huge amounts of work go into it.
Sitting in my alto seat next to Marie (conveniently also an alto), creating absolutely gorgeous music with people from so many places (Morocco, France, England, Denmark etc) is such an uplifting experience. It makes me wonder how I lived without singing for so long. It's like therapy for free! Othman can attest to that-- when he picks me up at almost 10pm on Monday nights after a 2 hour rehearsal, I'm invariably in a fabulous mood. There's something so special about singing with others, even (or perhaps especially) for those of us who aren't particularly talented. A few months back Alli sent me this incredibly interesting NPR program that deals with the transformation people go through as they sing in groups, how it allows people to cope with life better, and why we react like that. Many callers relate their personal choir stories during the show and share how singing has changed their lives for the better. It may not be the most common of topics, but for anyone that has been in a choir before, every word will ring true.
Here's a video of "O Fortuna" as sung at the concert last May, which we'll begin working on again next practice. If any of you remember Marie from the wedding, you'll see her during close-ups of the right side.