Maxine – South Africa – Cape Town

Part of a personal project while on tour in South Africa.

Young Women’s Chorus member and graduating senior, Maxine. Photo taken in Cape Town, South Africa.

For the past seven years, choir has been an anchor and a joy in my life. I have been singing with the Young Women’s Chorus of San Francisco for five years, and have had the opportunity to perform beautiful and powerful music all over the country and the world. Being involved in choir has taught me invaluable lessons in musicianship, technique and teamwork.

Choral music requires dozens, sometimes hundreds, of voices to mesh perfectly in order to collectively create something beautiful. Sometimes, the creative achievement is in finding a perfect unison of voices. Other times, the power is in the intricacies of the harmonies. What resonates most for me are pieces where the music’s impact is felt through a complex layering of harmonies, like in Libby Larsen’s, The Womanly Song of God. Performing this piece is a gift. I’ve been lucky enough to have performed this song during two different concert seasons and with each rehearsal and each performance, I am reminded of the healing that music can bring to the world. I feel the majesty of the music resonate within me, within the space, and within the audience. Eight-part vocal harmonies weave with overlapping lines of vocal and body percussion in order to construct a wall of lush, delicate yet powerful sound. It reminds us, the singers, of the awe-inspiring force that lives within us. Letting my voice meld into the compelling whole makes me feel utterly free.

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