I believe that music has the ability to bring people together.
We just had our annual Vespers concert at my university. Vespers, meaning “evening prayers,” is a musical tradition at Millikin; it’s been going on for nearly 50 years. It’s our annual Christmas concert where all the choirs sing together, and where people from the community, as well as parents and friends, can come together to experience the magic and the music of the season. This being my freshman year and my first Vespers experience, I had no idea what to expect. It ended up being completely magical. It was challenging, but everybody put in so much work, that it came together nicely and was really worth it. During the show the different choirs moved to different positions in the auditorium to sing the songs. So to hide the big shifts, we had a couple of carols for the audience to stand and sing. The first time they all stood, I felt a huge sense of awe and I realized the sense of unity in the room. I looked around and saw little old ladies that have to use walkers to get around, standing up to sing old familiar carols that bring back memories of their homes and families from their childhood. I love that music can do that to people, that it can make them look back to where they came from. Every culture has some form of music, from tribal chants to modern popular music. Music is the way that everyone can be connected. I think that holiday music does this the most, whether it is Christmas music, Hanukah music, Kwanzaa music, or just secular holiday music. Even people that have no religious affiliation appreciate “Let it Snow” or “Frosty the Snowman”. I know that I’m not personally in the holiday spirit until I hear Alvin and the Chipmunks. Music is just something that everyone can understand; the universal language.
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