Gifts sometimes come because a friend has thought of you and acted on it. A few weeks back as I busily organised the singers of the AMWChoir to quiet themselves and warm themselves up mentally, I received such a gift.
Our choir accompanist, Sylvia, has worked with the AMWChoir from very early days and assisted with the completion of Military Wife. She was the patient and watchful ear over the harmonies and the second set of eyes for the needed perfecting of the score. As we prepared for our first rehearsal of 2016, I asked Sylvia if she would play the Military Wife piano accompaniment as women left their cares outside the door and listened.
Sylvia told me, across the piano, that she had recorded her improvisation of the piece and had been meaning to send it to me. I was keen to hear this and encouraged her to send it - actually I demanded the reason why she had not sent it to me already, something along the lines of, "Well where is it, then?!"
As we quieted ourselves and listened to Sylvia play, immediately we felt that this was no ordinary rendition we were hearing. The serene beauty that flowed from the keys took our breath away (and I have listened to it hundreds of times.)
My thoughts had no choice but to remain right where they belonged, in the music with my 'cares outside the door', and my heart flooded with the peace only music can deliver.
When we sing Military Wife, it is bustling and without space for breath - like much of our life. The piano accompaniment music is a complete juxstaposition, flowing freely like the needed peace that singing brings to our lives.
It is a gift I plucked from the air and tucked safely in my heart for it was the only device available to contain it - thank you Sylvia.
Download Sylvia's improvisation of Miltary Wife here.