Sunday, July 3, 2011

CELESTIAL SOUNDS

Last evening while searching for something worthwhile on TV to listen to, I was amazed to find what I had hoped for. The clear notes of the Lord's Prayer were coming to me rendered by a rich voice that sounded like that of a mature woman. To my surprise the singer was a ten year old named Jackie Evanco

While I lay no claim to having sophisticated taste in music, during the many years spent at Houghton College I had ample opportunity to hear quality vocal music by a variety of artists. Compared to that array of talent, this struck a chord that to me was unusual. With eager anticipation I paid strict attention to the balance of the concert.

To my delight the balance of the concert was a mixture of numbers ranging from the sacred through the popular genre and down though the classics. The skill of the accompanist, David Foster, was demonstrated by his interpretation exactly as was called for, note following note in perfect harmony.

Jackie was uninhibited with the notes coming masterfully without strain or effort to reach for them. The consummate joy of singing was clearly evident. The matching of her voice and rendition blended exactly with that of Barbara Streisand's being played simultaneously on the screen. By careful listening I was unable to distinguish between the two voices. The matching of them was so exact that it was not possible to note the change between Jackie's and Barbara's rendering.

The end of each number was followed by a genuine smile, not the smirk of "I told you so." It was real happiness coming through, unmistakable by its genuineness. The seeming lack of effort or strain made listening and watching an exercise of pure enjoyment. The moments of dialogue between numbers gave the listener a glimpse into the life of this remarkable ten year-old young lady. At no point did she give the listener a moment of anything other than pure enjoyment.

My reaction was that of having heard the nearest approach to angelic song to be heard here on earth. Celestial sounds coming from the throat of a charming girl are my best description of that which I have ever experienced.

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