I cannot remember a time in my life when I didn't LOVE singing!
Virtually all of my earliest memories as a child involved music, and therefore singing. My dad and mom used to sing all the time growing up. I am not entirely sure where my mother's love for music came from, but I know my father's family was always singing. He played the guitar, and so did his brothers. My Uncle Dwayne has the deepest voice I've ever heard and I remember hearing my dad and his brothers singing at family reunions, etc. I am certain that influenced me greatly in my passion behind singing.
My mother introduced me to a very eclectic mix of music. I still remember not just the popular songs and artists she had on records (like Neil Diamond, Michael Jackson, The Beach Boys) but I also remember the odd, random songs/artists. Of course at the time, none of them seemed odd because that would have made my mom "odd" and she certainly wasn't (and isn't!) I remember a song called "Toot, Toot" and if I felt like taking the time right now I would go look up the artist ... but I don't ... what I do remember is that there was a line that went like this: "Don't you mess with my toot toot" and then something about "I'm gonna break your face" which was the artist's threat to anyone that got in his space (or something like that).
Anyway, I am way off track here ... what I wanted to write about was our ward choir and how much I love singing in it! The Oakwood Ward (as a reminder for my non-Mormon readers, a "ward" is the congregation that a geographic are of people attend and are a part of) has a superb choir! Our choir director, Amy Amsden, is awesome! She brings a true Christian spirit to our practices and performances ... but just as importantly, she makes it FUN !!! I have never enjoyed pompous choir directors who always make you feel stupid if you don't read music or are not classically trained and all that. Sister Amsden is NOT like that! We sing challenging pieces, but there are always plenty of laughs and camaraderie amidst a spiritually uplifting experience. I sing Tenor and I am glad that even my seemingly stoic peers in that section still enjoy a chuckle or two as we practice and prepare our music.
I love to sing with the radio in the car and I have a love for all types of music (except anything that is intentionally putting someone or something down, or if it promotes violence and hatred of others). But my favorite type of singing will always be "a cappela" (that means "without instruments") and church music. I believe, the latter is the best way to share our testimony of our Heavenly Father, of His Son Jesus Christ, and of His plan for us to live on this earth, gain experience, and one day (if we live worthily enough) to return to live with Him. When I sing, especially with a group of my peers that feel the music just as I do, I believe that He hears me and is pleased with my show of faith and gratitude. I also believe He must have a good sense of humor and that He is not displeased when we enjoy a laugh at the lighter moments during practices and our everyday life.
Thanks for reading this blog and if you ever want to come and hear the Oakwood Choir perform, just let me know and I'll be sure to invite you along to one of our performances. Not to be prideful, but it really does sound amazing and you will feel His love for you as you listen to our collective testimony.