I’m reading a book called Imperfect Harmony: Finding Happiness Singing with Others, by Stacy Horn. Yesterday I read Horn’s account of the story of Frank Damrosch, the son of a famous conductor, who started “People’s Singing Classes” in 1892, because he wanted to offer musical opportunities to working men and women in New York.
Twenty-five hundred showed up for his first demonstration in a hall that held 700. He gave the people inside their first lesson, and then did it again for the next group. Over time, he taught classes to thousands, and held concerts in Carnegie Hall with a thousand singers. Horn says an estimated 50,000 people learned to sing because of Damrosch’s work. He inspired the formation of other “people’s” musical groups in the US and Canada.
This story moved me to tears (a rare occurrence) – not only because I love to sing, but because of Damrosch’s commitment to his vision. He didn’t even know if anyone would show up to that first class, but he did it anyway.
What might you like to start?