Singing Away the Blues

Dec 11, 2013

The Hobart Baroque Chorus
Credit Stefan Karpiniec on Flickr Creative Commons

I suppose you could say that today's show is about a fairly obvious truth--singing with other people feels good. 

But, it's a little bit more complicated than that. When you go to a church and pick up a hymnal and sing what everybody else sings, it feels okay. And, a fairly complex set of activities takes place in your brain, and that's nice, but it pales in comparison to really singing with others. 

That is, getting together with other people and rehearsing and working toward a truly successful blend of voices.

All kinds of good things happen when you try that. Some of them happen right on the surface of your life. You feel happy. You get a sense of communion that is not available in other ways. You may experience other very deep emotions and a series of other things are happening invisibly at the level of neurology and physiology.

You can share your choral stories below, email us at colin@wnpr.org, or tweet us @wnprcolin.


  • Lucy Ferriss is a writer-in-residence at Trinity College, author of several books, including the forthcoming, The Map of Honor. She also sings with CitySingers choir.
  • Stacy Horn is a writer and the author of several books including Imperfect Harmony: Finding Happiness Singing with Others. She’s been a member of the Choral Society of Grace Church in NYC for 31 years.
  • Daniel Levitin is a musician, professor of psychology at McGill University, and Dean of Arts and Humanities at KGI. He’s the author several books including of This is Your Brain on Music, and the forthcoming The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload, due out in August 2014
  • Ray Giolitto is a partner in an architectural firm and has been singing in choirs since the age of 8. More recently, he’s a soloist and has been a member of the choir at the Universalist Church of West Hartford for 22 years. 
  • John Church sings bass in CitySingers choir.