Happy Thanksgiving, ACDA! I am thankful to be in conversation with you and for you through this platform. I continue to learn so much every week. What a blessing to be able to bounce ideas off of so many brilliant colleagues, philosophers, writers, Doctors, Tango dancers, researchers and more. The podcast began in 2019, but many years before that I began to notice how interconnected choral music is with the rest of society. We really touch EVERY part of humanity in our jobs. The true jacks of all trades. Thank you for helping me dig deeper, and explore the full spectrum of what it means to be a choral music educator! See the podcast players below for this week’s SHORT Thanksgiving message, as well as episodes from the past two Thanksgivings!
“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.” Henry David Thoreau
As I begin preparations to cook another huge Thanksgiving Day meal, I am more thankful than usual this year.
It’s been a rough fall for our family but things are looking a bit better. My spouse had a health scare (the Big C) during the last couple of months and has recently gotten some good news. For that—and for my spouse—I am thankful. Our children are healthy, happy and productive and have turned out to be wonderful young men, and I am very thankful for them. Their support, help and their coming together when, and where, needed during this ordeal have made me not only thankful for them but proud as well.
Our house always needs something fixed but I am thankful, nevertheless, for its shelter. I am thankful for our beautiful piano and a home filled with music. Of course, I am thankful for the things in our house but I am more thankful for the people and the love that fills it. I am oh-so-thankful I am surrounded by a family who “gets” me—both my spouse and children.
I am thankful for the food I will cook for this meal of meals, and thankful for the ability to share because, “To those whom much is given, much is expected.” I am thankful for my Dad’s continued good health, at almost 90, my brother’s friendship and sharing of memories from holidays past. I look forward to spending the day reminiscing with Dad and the rest of our extended family; eating, talking and laughing as well as missing those family members no longer with us. And am thankful we will have the opportunity to do so again this year.
I am thankful for the wonderful musicians I journey with in our quest to bring a different choral repertoire to our community. Their musicianship, tolerance, appreciation and willingness to step beyond their comfort zone is something I value. And really, after Palestrina, doesn’t everything else seem easy? I am also thankful for my education and training, giving me the tools to believe we can do this; we can do anything we set our minds to. And I am thankful I get to sing and conduct such beautiful music on a regular basis.
I am thankful for my friends in music, and out of music. My best friend from graduate school who is singing with me and my best friend from high school who has decided to follow her dreams of painting in retirement; both of whom I am extremely thankful for! My voice teacher and her accompanist who keeps me sane (“if this is the sanest part of your week, Marie, it must be pretty bad!”) and who believe in my voice, I am thankful beyond measure.
I am thankful for the wisdom to finally believe in things beyond my control, letting go and allowing things to happen as they will. There is such a peace which comes from doing so and wish I had believed this long ago. I am thankful for my own good health, despite the usual Soprano Complaints, and know I am very lucky.
I am thankful for colleagues who have become friends and a rich, diverse choral community which reaches beyond my own suburban life. I am thankful for ChoralNet allowing me to come to you every Thursday with a regular blog. To those I have touched and helped with Choral Ethics, even in a small way; you are such a wonderful part of my life that I never expected to have. I AM THANKFUL FOR YOU TOO!