Over the last few days of choir tour I have been reminded and realized that American Patriotism remains alive and burning within the people of our nation today.
During the course of the last few months, I am not going to lie, the tensions and conflict between the people of the United States has made me not only upset, but incredibly sad. This nation was founded on principles and beliefs of freedom, acceptance, and camaraderie; but in recent months I feel as if I have only observed increasing violence, bigotry, and tension between our leaders and communities - a fact which has consequently continued to spiral into various social spheres throughout our nation.
However, do not allow me to misguide you; this is not supposed to be a political post, but instead one that may show the healing power of music, especially for a nation desperately in need of it.
During rehearsals Dr. Clausen often shares with the choir of his belief that music is a healing agent for the world, and now, due to the current state of our country and its people, I sincerely believe in that statement more than ever before.
A couple weeks ago, Dr. Clausen made the "last minute" decision to throw the piece America the Beautiful into our program. At the time many members of the choir - including myself - did not understand his insistence on inserting the piece into our already long enough and well rounded program. However, over the last few nights it has become blatantly obvious as to why he decided to do it.
During our last five concerts, this "power" has become evident. After singing America the Beautiful I have witnessed the healing power the piece has held over individuals as I have looked out at our audience and seen faces streaming not only with tears, but with giant smiles and seeming appreciation and gratitude. The music seemed to have touched them in a way that just words cannot. I could be wrong, but our audiences appeared to have been reminded that - despite the current state of our country - we still live in a nation of opportunity, freedom, and is beautiful "from sea to shining sea", a fact that has historically bonded all Americans and made them incredibly proud to live in such a nation.
As for myself, it has reminded me that as musicians we are called not only to share notes and rhythms with our audiences, but are entrusted with the privilege of filling spirits and reminding people of what is truly important in life. As musicians, we are not only performers, but are in a unique position to be healers and use one of the arguably greatest healing agents in the world: that being the power of music.
currently lives in Fargo, North Dakota where she works remotely as a Policy and Communication Manager for the First Lady of North Dakota. Photography and writing are a passion that help her better appreciate the details of the world.