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Minnesota Chorale members give -- and receive -- joy
FFI: The Holidazzle Parade happens Thursdays through Sundays, Nov. 23-Dec. 23, 2012, 6:30 p.m. on Nicollet Mall between 12th and 4th streets in downtown Minneapolis. www.holidazzle.com
by Barbara Lundervold

Getting ready for the holidays, for me, means applying again to be in the Holidazzle Parade.

The first invitation for the Minnesota Chorale to participate in the parade was 26 years ago. We were asked to sing on an illuminated float that would move down Nicollet Mall ... in December! We in the Chorale office looked at each other and said, "They want us to do ... what?"

After we thought about it for a while, we decided that would be a fantastic idea. I set out to recruit the 30 singers who would don the gold robes, climb high atop the choir float and get plugged in to light our star-collars. I admit that I had to use my best sales skills that year, but I did manage to round up the full complement of sopranos, altos, tenors and basses.

What we quickly discovered is that the experience wasn't just about our singing for the enjoyment of others. And it wasn't just our star-collars that were bright and shiny. Some of us have all we can do to sing with a lump in our throats and tears in our eyes caused by the happiness we receive back from the people who line the streets.

As we pass by, they look up at us, faces bright ... smiling, laughing, cheering and singing. We have learned how to move from one song to another seamlessly, as we discovered quickly that no one wants us to be regrouping or transitioning when we're passing by them!

The Minnesota Chorale has been selected and will again climb aboard the choir float (Friday, Nov. 30.) I no longer have to talk singers into volunteering. It took only one experience to convince them that they wanted to do this again and again.

Barbara Lundervold is the chorus personnel manager for the Minnesota Chorale. She lives in Woodbury.

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