As I started to write this letter, I thought about all the words that are being used to describe the current circumstances: unprecedented, crisis, lockdown, social distancing, isolation… But I don’t need to recount what is happening in the world. Instead, I offer a different word: hope.
We have seen hope springing up in the people who report to work every day to keep essential businesses running, in those who are on the front lines, healing and protecting us. We have also seen it in the spontaneous acts of generosity, kindness, and unity that are being reported from all over the globe. In many of these instances, hope is being ushered in through music. People singing collectively from their windows and balconies, or just one voice singing into an empty street. Musicians joining forces from neighboring houses or apartments, or broadcasting live shows on social media for all to enjoy. Hope and music weave through all of humanity, holding us together.
Clinically speaking, music has the power to reduce stress, alleviate anxiety and depression, improve blood flow and memory, and much more. But it goes deeper than that. “I think music in itself is healing,” American musician Billy Joel once said. “It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by.”
Although we will not be able to share music together in person this May, I pray you will find joy and hope in the music that you love.
President, Decatur Choral Society
Below is an excerpt from a song that Opus 24 has performed in the past. It has brought me comfort and hope during this time. Perhaps it will do the same for you.
Every good gift, all that we need and cherish,
Comes from the Lord in token of his love;
We are his hands, stewards of all his bounty,
His is the earth and His the heavens above.
Praise to thee, O Lord, for all creation!
Give us thankful hearts that we may see
All the gifts we share, and every blessing.
All things come of thee.
Look at the World