May 18, 2016

The Family that Sings Together, Stays Together

I come from a singing family.  I mean, we are basically the modern day Von Trapp's, except there are more of us and we a lot more showy-offy.  Every last one of us is musically inclined in one way or another, and for as long as I can remember, our family gatherings have almost always included music and a time of singing.  Some of my most favorite family memories are tied to music - times spent in worship around a guitar, watching musicals together, or sponteanously breaking out into harmonies together.  In the past, we have even put on family Christmas concerts where we all sang together, in trios or duets and invited people to hear us sing!  See?  Showy-offy.

Over a month ago, my cousin Aimee had the brilliant idea of hosting a family karaoke day, where we could all get together and sing our favorite songs from Broadway musicals.  Because we are a singing family, we have all grown up with a deep love for musicals.  Oklahoma, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, West Side Story, Les Miserable, Phantom of the Opera, Showboat, Carousel, Grease, The Sound of Music, The King and I, My Fair Lady and Calamity Jane are just a few family favorites.

We all got together over the weekend, to show off our musical chops and sing together.  Some of us had practiced pieces and others were done off the cuff. And when I say some of us had practiced, I most definitely mean myself.  It was a hilarious, sweet, precious, fun time together.

My Poppy is the patriarch of our family.  I think we all see him as the cornerstone of our extended family and all of us have been shaped by him - his faith, his character, his correction of us, his love, his spiritual guidance.  And of course, his musical talent.  He is 82 and still has an incredible voice. He started us off with a performance of Some Enchanted Evening from South Pacific.
And then he sang When I Fall in Love (not from a musical) to my Grammy and we all teared up at the sweetness of the moment.
And then we cried our eyes out when he started dancing with her.  Almost 60 years of marriage together....
The day was sweet.  Reconnecting with family and enjoying one another without the distraction of a holiday or a birthday.  I loved it.  I sang Think of Me from Phantom of the Opera and perhaps won the award for loudest-singer-ever afterwards.  And Tommy and I had rehearsed Do-Re-Mi from The Sound of Music and sang it together.  I got a little choked up with emotion - seeing where my Grandfather's legacy is being passed down to my own children.  And Tommy can sing for real ya'll.  I was so proud of him.

There were plenty of shenanigans on Saturday.  My sister knows every single word and lyric to Officer Krupke from West Side Story by heart and impressed us all with her incredible theatrics.
We all took turns, singing, laughing, entertaining.  I wondered how we had never thought of doing something like this before!  One of the highlights was singing Summer Nights from Grease all together as a family and then listening to my cousin Jon and Poppy fumbling through the words of Oh What a Beautiful Mornin' from Oklahoma!

We ended our time together in worship.  It felt fitting to close like that after a day of fun and silly together
Days like that day remind me of how grateful I am for my family.  We aren't perfect and we certainly all possess our own measure of dysfunction.  But, we all know the Lord and our hearts are knit together in a special way - much because of the music we enjoy. 

Karaoke day 2.0 will happen again in December when my Aunt and Uncle and three cousins can join us for Christmas.  Time to start practicing!

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