This is a quotation from Paloma, a 12-year-old girl, one of the narrators of The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery:
Every time, it’s a miracle. Here are all these people, full of heartache or hatred or desire, and we all have our troubles and the school year is filled with vulgarity and triviality and consequence, and there are all these teachers and kids of every shape and size, and there’s this life we’re struggling through full of shouting and tears and laughter and fights and break-ups and dashed hopes and unexpected luck – it all disappears, just like that, when the choir begins to sing. Everyday life vanishes into song, you are suddenly overcome with a feeling of brotherhood, of deep solidarity, even love, and it diffuses the ugliness of everyday life into a spirit of perfect communion.
We have two choir concerts this week. I don’t think we’re likely to reach the dizzy height of choral singing described above, but I hope we, and the audience, enjoy ourselves anyway.