We are excited and hopeful! Our first session of this season’s program was all in all a success. Even with what can feel like drudgery in the way of orientations, the group shared experiences and perspectives in an open and trusting discussion, which left members feeling simultaneously supported, safe, and challenged.
With Jasmine in Texas, we had the master plan of starting things off with playing video a recording of one of our “greatest hits” on the projector… ah, the best laid plans. It was a bit a battle of wills it seemed between us and technology, but eventually we got things to roll and those who hadn’t yet had the opportunity to hear or see HALO in action got a little taste. Thank goodness for the typically low-maintenance technical needs for barbershop singing, because that’s not a battle any of us plan to fight on the regular, for sure!
Fortunately, we were able to get things rolling along and glitch delays would not be the end. The HALO gals shared our vision for the season– weekly readings, discussions, reflections… and, of course, singing. We were so glad that everyone was on board for our plan to include this season’s ensemble in our upcoming HALO for the Holidays concert! A fantastic opportunity to spread the message that peace is possible.
We then had our first shared experience sharing our feelings and perspectives on the current social climate and what it means to continue with this program with folks old and new. We were all encouraged to know that even with different experiences that have shaped us and guided us here together– we are, indeed, in this together.
As we get even bolder exploring the possibilities of how music can open our minds to deeper understanding and compassion for one another, this time we not only jumped into barbershop– we jumped in with instruments! With an improvisation exercise, we were able to discover how much sense it makes to move through our world actually listening to one another. And what does it mean to try to make sense of that world by attempting to “speak” someone else’s truth? The music we made together revealed more than words alone ever could in so short a time. It was almost like magic. (But actually– it’s Music Therapy, folks 😉 )
We did end with singing a tag– which despite the flurries of concern for an inability to sing, sounded quite lovely. “Begin with me,” we declared, in perfect harmony. What does it mean, in a world– a country– that seems so fraught with division, injustice, and spite… for peace to begin within us? This is what we hope to discover and to create this season, friends. We’re not just about talking this out. It’s our goal to co-create this community in order to find a way that we can make some small thing in this big picture just a little better. Together. And to show the world we’re in that doing these things are possible, even with our differences.
Some of you, dear friends and followers, have expressed a desire to follow our journey’sfootsteps from afar. We really do want as many folks as possible to join this mission– and we also recognize that one of the keys
to this program is in sharing a safe space in one another’s physical presence. So in the future, with more community chapters established, we do plan for there to be the opportunity for folks to connect and engage from a distance. In the meantime, if you would like to get a taste of the process, follow our weekly blog posts of reflections and join us in reading Under the Affluence, by Tim Wise. Other supportive readings that may be chosen will be shared along the way. Peace, friends!