Then Sings My Soul


Singing breathes life into me! While my back and feet silently wail for relief and my diaphragm muscle begs for more oxygen and strength, my soul soars. When Dave and I relocated to Garrett County in 2008, I heard the Choral Society’s Christmas concert and knew I wanted to join this community group.

Led by the former Assistant Conductor of the Air Force’s Singing Sergeants, Julie Turrentine, the Garrett County Choral Society performs three times a year. The repertoire encompasses a range of music that includes patriotic pieces, Handel’s Messiah, English folk tunes, madrigals, and most recently, an all Ralph Vaughn Williams’ concert. To Julie’s musical expertise, bubbly personality, and boundless optimism about the singers’ abilities, add the flawless accompaniment provided by Lynn Grimm. You then have the makings of  a rich musical experience here in the mountains of Western Maryland.

When a former student of mine moved to Accident this winter, I knew of her strong musical background and asked if she would enjoy singing with the group. She decided to join, we carpooled together, and both of us got to sing in the soprano section. Reconnecting as adults gave an added plus to the weekly rehearsals as we chatted about the locale, music, faith and family.

The Choral Society rehearses on Sunday nights in the basement of St. Paul’s Church in Oakland, but I had not ventured upstairs until last Friday night. When we entered the sanctuary for the dress rehearsal, my eyes immediately latched onto the two large banners suspended over the church’s front door. You see, I have two granddaughters, and the girls’ parents have given them middle names of Faith and Grace.

Little Stuff, an almost three-year-old, sometimes tells her folks that she wants to sing in the choir with Grandma. And Little Sister, recently born on St. Patrick’s Day, already has captured my heart. So as I opened my mouth to sing the lyrics from “O Clap Your Hands All Ye People,” “O Taste and See How Gracious the Lord Is,” and “Rise Heart, Thy Lord is Risen,” my eyes filled, my heart overflowed, and my soul did the singing! Yesterday, while talking to Little Stuff via phone, Grandma promised to send the picture that showed her middle name and her sister’s. Enjoy the picture and the story, Little Stuff. Love and hugs, Grandma.

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