What a thoroughly inspirational series The Choir was on BBC. If ever there was a testimony to the power of music to renew, redeem, unite, create and envision this was it.
Choirmaster Gareth Malone was thoroughly engaging as he created a series of choirs from residents on an urban estate called South Oxhey in Hertfordshire.
Week after week I was moved by the performances and by the impact that singing had on the social and emotional lives of the individuals. And even allowing for judicious editing on the part of the production team it was just hard to decry what was happening among these people.
Week after week I was reminded of the power of music and corporate singing and of its importance in building community life. Malone was a model in his enthusiasm and in his confidence. He thoroughly believed in the music, he committed utterly to the songs and the choir, believing that if he could get people to sing it would make something happen. There was nothing half-hearted about him, and ultimately people committed to him and then to the music and they were rewarded.
Do those of us who think about and participate in worship lack that confidence, trust and belief, I wonder, in the power of voices joined together, and is that why we need to create a spectacle of sound and vision to build what we think they can’t. Apologies for the laboured nature of that sentence – I’m in a rush.