Posted February 23rd, 2012 with 1 Comment
Within the Men’s Chorus, we have many goals and aspirations that we are shooting for, not least among those being the goals of providing powerful and moving musical performances and “being what you seem.” It truly is a blessing to be surrounded by such wonderful music each and every day of the week and to share in an hour with 180 other men. However, we have a greater goal, a greater purpose than simply to fill the Madsen Recital Hall on Brigham Young University’s campus with great music for one short hour on any given weekday: our purpose is to do all that we can to change the world.
Changing the world can seem like an overwhelming task at first glance. There is so much that could be changed about the world, so much suffering and injustice, that it can be difficult to comprehend what influence one individual can have to bring about change. Indeed, as we look at the world around us, it can be easy to slip into despair brought about by all that is wrong or less than ideal in the lives of so many people. That is where the individual has the greatest power to change the world. Consider a time in your own life when you felt you were losing your grip on the situations around you, when you were uncertain where to turn. More often than not, during those times in my own life, there have been small, otherwise insignificant events that have helped me to find the strength to carry on. Sometimes it is a smile from a friend or simple encouragement from a mentor, other times it is a reminder in various form that there is a God in Heaven, and that He is ever mindful of my needs and circumstances.
The power of one voice is great. One ray of sunshine in an ominous cloud provides hope for a better tomorrow. The power of many voices, united in purpose, is immense. When hundreds of rays of sunshine gather together and combine their light, darkness is banished.
Last fall, the BYU Men’s Chorus had the opportunity to perform with Brian Stokes Mitchell, an amazing performer of Broadway fame and an inspiring individual. One of the songs we sang with him was “The Impossible Dream” from the Broadway musical Man of La Mancha. As we rehearsed this song over and over, I gained a deep appreciation for the lyrics, especially those that close the song. The entire song discusses the valor in reaching for your dreams and in trying to do what we know to be right, and closes with these words:
And the world will be better for this,
That one man, scorned and covered in scars,
Still strove, with his last ounce of courage,
To reach the unreachable star!
I truly believe that the world can be better because of one voice speaking out for good, and that as many voices join together in that common cause, amazing things will be accomplished. This year and always, our quest within the BYU Men’s Chorus is to fulfill the scriptural injunction to “lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees” through our music and through the lives that we live. Our hope is that, in so doing, we will change the world, one voice at a time.
Tags Brian Stokes Mitchell Changing the World Impossible Dream Singing
Written by BYU Men's Chorus