reVoice

Riva Capellari

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Located in Brookside in the heart of Kansas City


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Traditions of Old

Those Carols of Old

The holidays are coming at us full tilt now and I find myself thinking back to the time when caroling was a regular holiday occurrence. Neighbors would come to their doors to listen, often with a plate of cookies. I miss the togetherness of that cultural experience when we shared something inside ourselves with others, inviting them into our circle of song.

I guess like many, for me the end of the year conjures up thoughts about the “meaning of life” and my place in it all. I oftentimes wonder how important is what I do compared to the daily heroics of first responders, snow removal crews, early childhood teachers; how essential is music, the sounding of one’s voice, to the well-being of ourselves and the world? The physiological and emotional benefits of singing and music are well documented, whether you are an opera singer or someone who sings just slightly out of tune. But I really need to believe that music is also a universal language whose vibrations somehow permeate the world and maybe, just maybe help to bring about more humanity and peace.

I found this speech given by Karl Paulnack, a professor at Boston University, to his incoming class of music majors. I will just reprint an excerpt from the end.

“ You’re not here to be an entertainer…You’re here to become a sort of therapist for the human soul, a spiritual version of a chiropractor, physical therapist, someone who works with our insides to see if they get things to line up, to see if we can come into harmony with ourselves and be healthy and happy and well. Frankly, …I expect you to save the planet. If there is a future wave of wellness on this planet, of harmony, of peace, of an end to war, of mutual understanding, of equality, of fairness, I don’t expect it will come from a government, a military force or a corporation. I no longer expect it to come from the religions of the world which together seem to have brought us as much war as they have peace. If there is a future of peace for humankind, if there is to be an understanding of how these invisible, internal things should fit together, I expect it will come from the artists…the ones who might be able to help us with our internal invisible lives.”

Caroling anyone?

You can read the entire address here: http://www.bostonconservatory.edu/music/karl-paulnack-welcome-address.

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