I believe that sounds and songs can heal us and change our moods and help us to remember some great moments in our lives and inspire us to show more of ourselves to the world. What is it about music that causes us to feel these powerful effects? Is it the vibrations in the notes that vibrate through our being? Is it the words and the intentions behind them? Are we connecting with the singer and the instruments as we become an instrument of the music? And why is some music labelled as Wicked?
Different songs and genres of music affect me differently. Out of respect for the singer, I’ll tell this story without his name. During his performance as the night’s opening act, I needed to leave my third row seat within a couple of songs. I would have left immediately but I was trying to be polite and tough it out. He was playing acoustically and it would be impossible for me to leave without being noticed. His music wasn’t overly loud or jarring or offensive in any way. But I felt pain when I listened to his music, so despite the awkwarness of having to stand up and leave, I needed to distance myself from the thing that was causing my pain. I didn’t see anyone else leaving so I’m unable to explain to myself yet what compelled me to leave.
Thankfully most of my concerts I attend fill me with joy and bring me happy tears as the passion in the song vibrates strongly and deeply within in and has me remembering past experiences and looking forward to new ones as well. That amazing feeling is one of the reasons I love going to concerts and prefer being right up in front where the connection and music and passion is stronger and deeper.
I wish I was at the Hollywood Bowl on August 24, 2013 as Kristin Chenoweth invited music teacher Sarah Horn up on stage to sing For Good from the Broadway Musical Wicked. To her surprise and delight Sarah not only knew the song well, but had a strong and beautiful voice that harmonized perfectly with Kristin’s voice. She was even ‘coincidentally’ dressed in a green top and long green skirt, as if she showed up ready to sing the part of Elphaba while Kristin sang Galinda’s part. I say it like that not because she was a plant or that she expected it, but because it’s amazing how things work out sometimes and to pass this story off a a coincidence doesn’t do it justice.
Although there are many amazing and special aspects from this performance, once I wiped away my tears, I knew I had to share the video and the stories with you too. First, Kristin’s dad reminded her after the performance that he had prayed 11 years ago that she would one day sing with Kristin Chenoweth. It reminds me again very strongly that when we have hopes and dreams and prayers that we should Have Faith no matter how much time has passed since they first began. While I’m sure this duet would have been special to a 15 year old Sarah, now it is not only meaningful but has given her the opportunity to return to the Hollywood Bowl as a guest judge for ABBA-Cappella where she will also be performing. Talk about a dream come true!!
And for me, this song brought back memories of a special night in NYC watching Wicked on Broadway. The words of this song touched me deeply then but resonate with me even stronger now. The words are so true, ‘so much of me is made from what I learned from you. You’ll be with me like a handprint on my heart… Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.’
It is my wish that all of your hopes and dreams and prayers come true.