Passion for the Passion

Justine Kim '21

My St. Matthew Passion endeavor was perhaps one of the most memorable and endearing experiences of my life, both in the realm of music and out. Just like Robert pointed out, the time he embarked on this major work was perhaps the happiest period of his life, and it is no doubt the same for me. Not only did I love discovering musical subtleties in the Bach that can only be found by performing the piece, but the opportunities to bond with my fellow Glorus members and develop friendships were incredibly rewarding.

The things that I struggled with most were, believe it or not, outside the music rather than within. The long Wednesday rehearsals during Hell Week and the mental fatigue after Sunday night’s intense and rapid note cramming as Robert flew past each movement. I had trouble arriving to rehearsals early and always ended up embarrassing myself stumbling into the 2nd half of the rehearsals after break, in clear view of everyone.

I always had an eager attitude delving into Bach. Even though I took a break from the Chorus last semester, I was eager to join again and was absolutely thrilled to return because of Bach. I even went to Robert’s office hours to ask about I could fully experience the piece and the things that "I should look out for." Towards the end, my excitement declined on a minor degree, but only from pure exhaustion.

Performing the Bach was not as dreary and painful as I imagined it to be. I expected 3 hours of pure waiting as the soloist would take up the entire performance time and we would stand on our painful heels and in our tight performance attire for the entire duration of the concert. But the Glorus had the most stage time, and I absolutely loved responding to the soloists’ sentiments [i.e. LASS IHN HALTTET]. When we sang with the orchestra, I felt like being bolstered on a musical bed of clouds and hearing our sound soar through Bailey sky – it was a transcending experience.

Now that it is over, I am so excited for the next major work. I’ve developed an attachment to my Glorus friends. I don’t think I’ve had so many friends in my life. I’m just so happy.