Finding Happiness Singing with Others
By Stacy Horn
Algonquin Books, Paperback, 9781616200411, 256pp.
Publication Date: July 2, 2013
For Stacy Horn, regardless of what is going on in the world or her life, singing in an amateur choir--the Choral Society of Grace Church in New York--never fails to take her to a place where hope reigns and everything good is possible. She's not particularly religious, and her voice is not exceptional (so she says), but like the 32.5 million other chorus members throughout this country, singing makes her happy. Horn brings us along as she sings some of the greatest music humanity has ever produced, delves into the dramatic stories of conductors and composers, unearths the fascinating history of group singing, and explores remarkable discoveries from the new science of singing, including all the unexpected health benefits. Imperfect Harmony is the story of one woman who has found joy and strength in the weekly ritual of singing and in the irresistible power of song.
“Horn eloquently traces the evolution of ensemble singing . . . She writes movingly about how singing about death and simply breathing together bring a transcendent feeling of harmonious belonging.”—Publishers Weekly
“Horn's experiences in the Choral Society of Grace Church are vividly brought to life in her book. I often felt that I was right there in the room, in the choir, having the very same experiences. She seamlessly and naturally interlaces music history with her stories. Before I knew it, I realized I'd just read pages of - gasp! – music history, and didn't find one bit of it dry. I couldn't stop turning the pages. I wish my own college music history texts had been as captivating.”—A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall
“The joyful journey of one woman's life through song . . . . With wit and honesty, Horn opens the doors to a world nonsingers rarely see or hear . . . Even those unable to carry a tune will find that Horn's prose hits a high note.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Even if the only singing readers do is in their car, Horn’s story of finding happiness in choral harmony will leave them applauding for the encore.”—Library Journal
“Accessible and infectious . . . This is not only for readers with an interest in choral singing, but also anyone who has enjoyed creative endeavors, either as artists or consumers. Horn beautifully captures the magnificent feeling of joining oneself to something larger, becoming something greater in harmony with others than solo. Like her beloved soprano notes, Horn’s love of making music soars through her book.”—Booklist