When the youngest of my brothers got married, two friends of theirs (a married couple) sang a Yes song during their ceremony (“Onward“). I remember being really affected by it; how amazing is it to have friends who can give you music as a wedding gift? I can still hear them singing.
I wasn’t aware, or didn’t make the connection at the time of that wedding, that my grandfather had also performed at probably dozens of weddings in his lifetime. I’ve learned more about him since and the amount of emotional response I got from family, friends, and even strangers on past blog posts about his wedding performances is a testament to how integral music is to our lives. These were performances done even up to 50 years ago, and still these memories resonate.
It never crossed my mind that I’d ever perform at a wedding, especially because I’m not much for solo performance and I had always considered a wedding performance to be a one- or two-person job, unless you’re part of the band. But joining a choir has brought me a lot of pretty great surprises (not the least of which are the great friends I get to spend time making music and bad choir jokes with). Two choir friends got married this spring, and another of us commissioned a choral song based on an E. E. Cummings poem as a gift. And he asked a bunch of us to learn and sing the song at the wedding, along with the composer. So, that happened.
Being up there singing an amazing original song with my friends, for my friends, felt great enough, but then to think about how this brought me just a little closer to the grandfather I never met put the whole thing way over the top. I hope our happy couple enjoyed it as much as we did. Listen to the recording here, courtesy of composer Alexis Renee Ford.