Singing is an art form that can bridge gaps and create connections between different cultures, it is a universal language that can bring joy and peace to anyone no matter what language they speak or their background. It has the ability to cause a war to stop, even for just a night like in World War I when the Germans began to sing Christmas songs to the French, starting with “Silent Night” and the French responded with “First Noel” leading to the Christmas Truce. Something about singing speaks to every living thing.
There is a feeling when you are singing with someone, creating a beautiful sound together that cannot be made without the other person. Now, with everything going on, society needs that connection more than ever. That is why the Carolina Theatre is holding a free event for the public on Feb. 18 called This CommUnity Sings. This will be an event apart of the Carolina Theatre’s 90th Anniversary Festivities.
This CommUnity Sings was inspired by a Choir! Choir! Choir! video that featured Rufus Wainwright leading a 1,500 person choir in singing Leonard Cohens “Hallelujah.” The video went viral and eventually Choir! Choir! Choir! turned into a full-fledged non-profit organization. This lead to an article at the end of 2016 by Ogi Overman from News & Record on events like this. At the end of his article he asked “How can Greensboro hold an event like this?” and with Carolina Theatre’s 90th Anniversary coming up, they had an answer.
A committee of volunteers, co-chaired by Overman and local entertainer Jessica Mashburn came together and now, a year later, This CommUnity Sings is finally happening. All it takes, is one person to start the spark, then all of a sudden there is fire and everyone is dancing around it or in this case, singing around it.
They plan on filling up the theater, so if you attend you will make up one of over 1,000 voices singing “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen, “Carolina on my Mind” by James Taylor and “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong. These songs will be conducted by Welborn E. Young, the director of choral activities at UNCG, and Ron Jones, the Fellowship Gospel Choir Director at North Carolina A&T with Eric Chilton as host and MC.
It is first come first serve on seating, with doors opening at 2 p.m. The Grimsley High School Blue Steel Drumline and The North Carolina A&T University Cold Steel Drumline will open the event until the singing begins at 3 p.m. Then, the leaders will warm everyone’s voices up and teach the songs to those who do not know them.
This event is to help strengthen the bonds in our community – remind everyone what they have in common with each other. No matter who you are, when you are singing a song with another person for any reason whatsoever, you must have a certain amount cooperation and understanding, or the whole thing will fall apart. The hope is that this message will not just spread in our community, but also reach out to others inspiring people to embrace diversity and bring people from all walks of life together. One small act like this could change how someone may view the world. Honestly, who cannot get along when you’re belting “Bohemian Rhapsody” at the top of your lungs in a theatre full of people?
The event welcomes everyone and their mother. Do not hesitate to come down to the Carolina Theatre, Feb. 18, at 3 p.m. and spend an afternoon singing classic songs with the people in your community, who knows you may make a new friend.