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Voices Rising

Tuesday May 21, 2024

My friend Coosje, Jim and I just spent a couple of weeks in Europe.  Our first week was spent in Austria where we were hosted by Austrian relatives in a small village in the mountains.  We did lots of hiking and ate really good food, drank fine wines and delicious beers and ate lots of homemade strudel.  One day, after a hike, we arrived back in our village to find that a music festival was going on.  Every village in each  valley has a community band and on this day they had gathered for a music festival.  Every band had at least 40 people, some had kids, all had teenagers and young adults and seniors.  Every band was dressed in traditional Austrian clothing.  The men wore lederhosen and the women wore traditional dresses.  I felt like I was at the music festival that we all watched at the end of The Sound of Music.  There was so much energy and delight as the bands roamed the village in between performances.  We went into the auditorium and watched a couple of the bands perform.  It was so fun. .  We really enjoyed it. I was grateful to  experience the local music culture.  Later on in the evening one of the bands was in a pub across the road from us, and came out onto the street and sang a traditional Austrian song to us as we stood on our balcony waving at them.  These beautiful encounters are what I love about travelling.    

After Austria we travelled to The Netherlands for a week and had many more adventures.  We met kind people everywhere.  We returned home and the next day, in my jet lagged state, I was back at rehearsal with the Voices Rising choir (formerly the Highlands Harmony Choir).  Laurel McCauley directs the choir and we have a lovely group of women who have been gathering weekly since September.  I sing in the mezzos and I stand beside Debbie  who has a beautiful voice and I follow her lead.  I know some of the songs better than her, so she relies on me for the words sometimes.  We are a great little support for each other.  I love our weekly connection.  Debbie and I stand close to the back of the mezzo section and I can see and hear the beautiful sopranos to our left.  When they add their voices to the songs I always feel like there are angels singing.   The altos, to the right of us,  add a deep rich sound to our songs.  Our choir doesn’t read music.  We learn by listening and singing together again and again and again.   There is a lot of joy in our group. 

Voices Rising is having their annual year end concert on Friday May 24 at the Northern Lights Performing Arts Pavilion.  They will be joined by a live band for a couple of songs.  Tickets are $20 and are available at Cranberry Cottage,  Canoe FM and Let’s Get Local in Minden.  You can also get tickets on line at Doors open at 7 and the show starts at 7:30.  All proceeds made from the concert will be donated to the Haliburton Music Exchange.  I hope you will come and enjoy our performance.  Music connects us and uplifts us.


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