Anyone remember the television show, Extreme Makeover - Home Edition? I confess, I loved that show. I know…the show had detractors. There was controversy surrounding how people were selected for the makeover. Some people couldn't keep up with the mortgage payments. For me, it wasn't about the families that received the makeover. It was all about the volunteers that came together to make the magic happen…in a week.
While the producers wanted us to make an emotional connection with the family, most of us missed the fact that each episode required nearly 3000 volunteers. Those volunteers didn't just give of their time. They contributed financially and shared their individual talents. No matter how large or small the family, the real impact of Extreme Makeover was and still resides with the volunteers. It is a life-changing experience when you give yourself to something that can change the life of someone you may, or may not know. Your only benefit is the rush that occurs when you have given your all. What makes moments like these unforgettable? You didn't just write a check…you physically participated and got to witness the results. You see firsthand how your efforts can make a difference.
Creating art is a lot like Extreme Makeover - Home Edition. At least it should be. Every Artistic Director I know, wants their concert performers to feel the same rush those makeover volunteers felt when they yelled, "move that bus." Performers want an audience to experience/see what they have spent their time building.
As I write this, I am putting the finishing touches on a performance titled: I Dream a World. It is a concert experience designed to let music open our hearts and minds to the world, and people around us. To let music put us in the place of a child being bullied or living in a war-torn environment and witness how compassion, and empathy can change how we see the world, those around us, and call us to action - to make a difference. To share music that speaks to where we are, and gives us hope in light of injustice, violence or persecution. To experience our deepest need to know love and feel peace.
If you're reading this, I would love to have you share this journey with the BeckRidge Chorale. But, I need to be honest. There is an audition. I test your vocal range, play some intervals (you will need to sing back), and ask you to do a very simple "sight-reading" exercise. (If auditioning frightens you, it shouldn't, we have a non-auditioned choir that meets on Monday evenings. Check our website for information.) The chorale is going to require your time, two hours per week on Tuesday evenings for about sixteen weeks - a total of 32 hours. Less than one week of full-time work spread out over four months. Most of us spend more than two hours a week on social media. Make this the year you spend less time liking or commenting, and more time living in the moment - making a difference. Now, I realize "stuff" happens and you might not be make all sixteen sessions, but I hope you will make every effort to be at rehearsal. Those around you are counting on you.
So am I.
I don't want you to do this alone…you can, but let me encourage you to get on your social media outlets and tell your friends what you are planning to do. Invite them to join you. It can be frightening to walk in to an environment where you don't know anyone. Don't let it be your excuse, bring a friend for moral support.
The BeckRidge Chorale and Cherry Hill Singers are a mix of volunteers from all walks of life. We come from different ethnic, political, and religious backgrounds. Like the volunteers in Extreme Makeover - Home Edition, we have different skill sets. Yet, we find great pleasure in creating beauty we can share. We want to create art that connects to our lives - that calls us to share our best selves. When we become willing to share our deepest thoughts, emotions and ideals with one another, we become a catalyst to inspire, motivate, connect, heal, and love.
If you are interested in making a difference in 2017, sign-up and let's talk. Along with some wonderfully talented people, I will try to help you perform at a level where you are not just yelling, "move that bus!," you are pushing it down the street so everyone can see the difference you can make.
40525 Koppernick Road
Canton, MI 48187
2017 © BeckRidge Productions
We share our love of the arts through study, practice and performance.
We strive to be educational, entertaining and inspirational.
We pursue excellence and professionalism in all aspects of our organization.
We seek to build fellowship on a foundation of dignity and respect.
We believe in community service through the sharing of talents and resources.