by Susanne Maziarz, Music Director at Neighbourhood
My role at Neighbourhood is one of both teaching and learning, shining and reflecting, supporting and standing tall. Because of my years of musical discipline, I’ve pushed myself to improve my skills in a way that a hobby musician may not. So I expect to hear music from myself that pleases my ear, harmonies that delight, rhythm felt deep in the body, and singing that is pure and in-tune.
I am learning to let that expectation go through my work with the choir and the band. Musicking for our community is not about perfection. Of course, we all want to sound good, but if we can’t, let it go. What matters in music–making for our religious family is the sharing of soul and spirit, the striving towards beauty and goodness, and enthusiasm for it all. I do not see preludes and offertories as performances, rather more as a chance for those that are moved by the musical muse to share that inner experience with the congregation. In the same way someone might share a prayer, or belief, we can still pick up on the intention and deep meaning even if it is shared with bad grammar or some words are mispronounced.
The Spirit Choir and Band volunteer both weekly in rehearsal and spend time at home to bring a bit of beauty and vitality and art to you at Neighbourhood. I love working and musicking with them all; I hope you can bask in the warmth of the musical light they want to shine your way!