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Let’s make music together! Let’s make sweet harmony!

March 7, 2013

There is often a misconception that only a few people can sing, that it is a specialized activity with required standards. On the contrary, singing is wonderfully enriching for everyone, fostering well-being and promoting self-expression in one of the most natural ways possible. We all sing unrestrained as children or alone and yet we feel judged as adults when we sing in public. What we should remember is that our voices are as individual as our DNA, not good or bad, just uniquely ours. The urge to sing and to hear others sing is inbuilt into our genes and is a crucial bonding activity in human culture providing physical, educational, emotional, spiritual and communal benefits. We regularly sing ‘Happy Birthday’, Christmas carols and ‘Take me out to the ballgame’ with gusto and without question or awaiting judgement. Why should we watch a “perfect” performance of our national anthem instead of professing our own patriotic pride through our own singing voice? Our music and songs reflect our personal and cultural identity and our generation’s place in history.

According to Sally Garozzo, “singing in groups is one of life’s great natural team activities” Singing together breaks down barriers, promotes effective teamwork, develops relationships and fosters creativity. What a wonderful gift to share with your family, friends, school and community!

I come from a family and community in Ireland where singing and music making is as natural as eating meals. I have been part of choirs, musicals, vocal and instrumental ensembles and orchestras since the age of four and while I fondly remember numerous songs, performances and experiences, I particularly cherish the resulting friendships, journeys and creative fulfilment.

Singing is fundamentally about having and sharing fun and creates a positive energy that is incredibly infectious. I really hope that Capitol Hill Youth Chorus activities and performances and CHAW Family Sing-along sessions bring this innately natural art form into the heart of the Capitol Hill community, cultivating creative fulfilment and community bonding.

We look forward to your family’s voices joining forces with ours at our upcoming musical evening on March 19th. The Capitol Hill Youth Chorus merges with voices from the British School of Washington in children’s classics from Broadway musicals. Then, it is your chance to warm up your vocal chords and share in a few family numbers with friends old and new at our first Family Sing-along.

Caitriona McEniry-Roschke
CHAW Teaching Artist