Finding my Place in the Chorus

Caroline Dodd ‘20

I joined the Chorus in the spring of the 2017-2018 school year, my junior year. This was a relatively unconventional time frame to join, both because it was the spring semester and because it was so late in my college career. I was overjoyed upon acceptance, but also overwhelmed as I was thrown straight into preparation for the American Choral Director’s Association conference, and then Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion. I had little time until this summer to reflect upon what it truly meant to me to be a part of this organization. I realized that although I was grateful and honored to be one of just two new members accepted in the spring semester, I did not really have a sense of where I, as an individual, fit into the Chorus.

I traveled to the Fall Retreat optimistic about how the ensemble would develop and grow musically, but I truly had no idea how impactful the retreat experience would be. Beyond music rehearsals, retreat provided several opportunities for me to learn much more about the Chorus and my fellow members. I learned about how the Chorus is funded, and suggested my input for the future. I collaborated with a small consort, where I interacted with members old and new, some of whom I did not know well, musically or otherwise. I laughed harder than I had in a long time when each consort performed a silly skit about “a Chorus member’s dream.” Finally, and most importantly, I felt comfortable enough to share my experiences and facets of my identity in an emotional activity called “Who Here.”

Never before have I felt more connected to my fellow Chorus members, the music we sing, and the organization itself. The Chorus prides itself with musical excellence, but I believe that would not be possible without the community of trust and empowerment fostered by the dedicated efforts of our officers and our director. I can now proudly say that I am a member of one of Cornell’s most fiercely vibrant and extraordinarily welcoming organizations.