Meet my friend Marjorie. I met her in Washington, D.C. back in 1982 or 1983 at our local gym on M St. We were sitting in the steam room, and she remarked how she hadn’t see me with my friend lately and wondered what happened. I told her she moved to Boston to go to back to school, and how much I missed her. She immediately reached out, and we became best friends after that. Neither Marjorie nor I are in D.C. anymore, and I wish we were closer. She has always inspired me to look for joy wherever it is. Here she is singing in a gospel choir, and here is her story.
I have always wanted to sing in a gospel choir. The energy and music is so uplifting. You can be in the biggest funk…tired, depressed, or overwhelmed with your day and your life, but when you start singing it’s as though you’ve been totally transported to another place and time.
When I lived in San Francisco I sang in two choruses. I never had a great voice, but good enough to be part of the choral group. One of my “gigs” was in the San Francisco Gay Men and Women’s Chorus. My next door neighbor at the time knocked on my door one evening and asked me if I liked to sing. Well, “yes” I said, but I’m not good. He said not to worry that it was just a fun group and they sang show tunes. It turned out to be a little more professional than I was, but I still enjoyed it, and realized what a high I got from singing. Then my “voice” went downhill (literally). I was really distressed over it, but the ENT guy I went to said it “wasn’t cancer,” but I would have to give up my operatic career. I fell over laughing.
So years went by without a song in my heart and last December, right before Christmas, my friend Nancy and I went to a local cafe here in Petaluma, (CA) for breakfast and the Wings of Glory was singing. I checked it out and low and behold they are here practically right in my backyard! The best things about this group are 1) you don’t have to audition 2) you don’t have to have a great voice and 3) there is no commitment to show up for rehearsals every week or attend the performances.
I haven’t missed a rehearsal yet! The members are some of the most welcoming people I’ve ever met. Last weekend we sang with the Oakland Interfaith Choir. You want to hear great voices….that’s the ticket. Any one of them could go on American Idol and win! There was also a Jewish A Capella group there called Vocolat and they were singing Hebrew and Yiddish songs…I felt more at home.
We are the token white gospel choir, but we have the spirit and the “moves.” We are invited to perform at a number of different venues. Churches, of course, but also wineries and other events around the area.
So, how is it, you ask, to be singing about Jesus for a nice Jewish girl from Brooklyn? Well after all, Jesus was a nice Jewish boy from Bethlehem. And at least they both start with a “B”, right!? And, if you’re ever in my neck of the woods please come and hear us sing. You will be looking for a gospel choir in your area instead of a therapist!