Tuesday, June 05, 2007

My Mistress Is Music

Let it be known that I think I am a better writer than I am a singer, which might not be saying much, though I do think I'm a fairly decent writer, so I reckon that means I can carry a fairly acceptable tune. In college, I joined The Kuumba Singers of Harvard College and I did the choir, and the subgroup Sisters of Kuumba for all four years. I knew I liked music before, but this choir just opened up an entirely new creative side of me that I'd been rather hesitant and shy and unsure to embrace. I don't know if I've still fully done it, but definitely more than I had before I joined the choir. If I couldn't write, I'd want to be a singer, which is, incidentally, not the world's most ideal backup job in the world. There are so many people who I have met who are doing the do who came from the choir: Soulfege, Johanna, Shelby Braxton-Brooks, and so many others who are going on to be doctors, lawyers, community leaders, future anythings and everythings.

(Singing Guide My Feet at Black Alumni Weekend at Harvard in '06. And yes, I'm in that clip and so is sis, shout out! :D)

Nevertheless, I've been listening to some tracks from the new CD they just put out, Our Spirit Stands (yes, I'm on some of the tracks, no solo . . . well, not really . . .), and they've been very necessary to my life right now, particularly Call on the Name of the Lord and Shout and Spiritual Medley, but particularly the first two. The soloist for both is Teddy Maynard, whose voice was hand-installed by God himself, and the tracks were written by Sheldon Reid, the director of the choir, as well as two other student members (for the first song, CotNotL). I just go to this place of right. Hold on, just a little while longer . . . sometimes you need that encouragement, that reminder. I sing those songs, the songs of my ancestors, their melodious diaries and I pray I am the manifestation of their fervent hopes. I know some of my peers and contemporaries can make us shake the head, but there are others, more than others who are doing the do, but hey don't make the evening news. Keep on keepin' on, because as you know the revolution won't be televised.

(This is Teddy sangin' in the Spring Concert this year. The actual name of the song above is Living for More, also written by Sheldon Reid. No, I'm not in that clip. I'm in the audience ackin' a foo' like a good alumna ;). )

But, since I've been out the choir, I realize I miss singing. I sing in my room, which probably annoys my poor neighbors, but I really miss it. I could re-join the choir, but my time in that has passed I believe. It's time for the new members to shine and be dope, and I enjoy watching and listening to them as much as I did singing in it. But, if you're ever in the Cambridge area in the beginning of December or the end of April, or if you hear about Kuumba touring in your town, I encourage you to go listen. They're phenomenal.

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