I sing in a choir and that brings me great happiness. It’s a delight to meld our voices together in moving words and tones.
Singing with my choir sisters and brothers often makes my heart leap with joy, especially when we sing Antonin Dvorak’s music. This 19th century classical composer created glorious melodies with rhythms expressive of folk traditions in his Czechoslovakian homeland.
Several years ago, our cherished choir director brought us a suite of Dvorak’s music to sing called Songs of Nature. Its five lilting melodies immediately enriched and challenged us. The first four songs rejoice in nature greeting the new day’s sunrise, moonlight filling the woods with silver shimmer, golden sunlight shining upon ripening grain, and a slender young birch tree wearing a feathery robe of green.
The last song—This Day—celebrates nature joyfully moving through day into glittering starlight. It begins with emphatic staccato notes: “This day was made for great re-joi-cing . . .” and quickly Dvorak brings in midges. Nature joins the celebration “To watch the mid-ges gai-ly dan-cing . . . perched on leaf and blos-som.”
The first time we sang This Day, we giggled as we visualized birds or worms or bugs dancing on leaves and blossoms. Someone asked “What are midges?” generating more trickles of laughter, but no answers. At the next rehearsal, a fellow choir member enlightened us about these very tiny, lively two-winged insects whose wings form a heart shape.
Lately, we have been joking that the midges are coming back—we plan to sing Dvorak’s beautiful songs again soon. Thinking about singing Dvorak’s songs and dancing midges gladdens my heart. What makes your heart happy?