Day 94: Lean on me

Yesterday, I mentioned the abundance of musical riches I’ve been blessed with over the last few days. So I dropped by a local Port Hope church this morning to say — and sing — a few words of thanks for these blessings. And guess what? More great music.

This music came from a glorious choir whose members were all age 12 and under. It happened to be Family Day at the church, which meant that kids took over the readings and the collection. As well, the children’s choir rocked the house with lively versions of hymns I hadn’t heard since Sunday School.

I sat there mesmerized by the simple beauty of children’s voices united in song and thought about how that pure sound can touch your heart so deeply. Even though they were doing upbeat hymns complete with clapping and finger snapping, I found the choir deeply moving.

By the time I heard their sweet voices launch into “Lean on me … when you’re not strong,” I burst into tears — happy tears, mind you, but tears nonetheless. So when the young girl came by in her Sunday-best dress and shiny shoes struggling to hold out the heavy collection basket, I practically flipped my wallet upside down and emptied every last dime into it.

But any extra appreciation I showed musicians of all ages these past few days felt well worth it when, at the Jazz Festival, I heard these words from Russ Little (a virtuoso trombonist who’s played with the Woody Herman and Count Basie Orchestras, was an original member of Lighthouse and part of the world famous Boss Brass) after the audience applause had died down:

“It’s a bugger being a musician for a living. The bankers look at you strangely — cops look at you very strangely — and so we appreciate this reception very kindly.”

I don’t like to give advice in this blog (I’ll leave that to those who are much wiser than I), but today I’ll make an exception, and that advice is this: Put a little music in your day today — whether it’s via iPod, CD, Erhu, or a pair of spoons — and I guarantee you won’t regret it.

P.S. The children’s choir in this video isn’t the one I heard today, but they are singing “Lean on Me” — so enjoy (crying is optional!). Video courtesy of PrimarilyACapella via YouTube.:

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