Linli Wang has been our pianist and choir leader at Starr King Unitarian Universalist Church since 2017. She is, simply put, amazing! It is a wonderful time to join the choir or just sit back and enjoy the music.
Here are some her reflections from our March 24th worship service:
As we feature our choir this month, I wanted to share my testimonial with you all.
Choral singing has always been a significant part of my life. I started singing in choral ensembles in elementary school in China. When I first came to the US, I joined the choir in my middle school, and continued being a part of many choral ensembles in high school, college, and the professional world. Being in a choir helped me make new friends in a foreign land, and helped me learn the English language more easily, and made me a better person and better musician. Most importantly, it inspired me to pursue music as a lifelong passion and led me to where I am today.
As someone who has always felt and appreciated the power of choral singing, I am so incredibly grateful to be able to tell you that it is scientifically proven that when we lift our voices and sing together, our hearts would beat as one. In 2013, NPR featured a study done by researchers of the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. The researchers used pulse monitors attached to a group of high school choir members’ ears to measure changes in the choir members’ heart rates as they sung a Swedish hymn together. The findings, which were published in Frontiers in Neuroscience, not only confirmed that singing choral music has calming effects on the heart, but also revealed that it took almost no time at all for the singers’ heart rates to become synchronized.
It is important to note that it is not an easy task to sing well together, and our courageous friends who sang before you here today would testify that I am very tough in rehearsals. Yet time and time again, they rise up to meet my expectations and more. As our world becomes more and more digitized, it can be a really raw, beautiful and powerful experience to unify our voices and sing together. It is not only fulfilling for our own minds and souls, but a great service to our communities, our world and beyond. If any of you are interested in singing with the choir, please join us in rehearsals on Sunday mornings before the service.For a choir, more is always merrier.