Reflections on Another Audition Season Gone By

Sarah Sperber ‘22

Excitement mounts as we prepare for our group to grow this audition season, and I can’t help but reflect on my first experiences with the chorus last January. I came to Cornell in the fall of 2018 excited to explore all of the opportunities people said this school would offer me. As a freshman who felt in over her head at an enormous competitive new school, I was scared. Despite my zeal and best efforts, I found myself a little lost during my first semester here. I ended up without a single extra-curricular activity, as I was simply overwhelmed by the club fair and too nervous to audition for any music groups. I went through my freshman fall uninspired and began to feel hopeless; transferring schools became a very attractive prospect as I sank into despondency.

However, after many cups of tea with my mom over winter break, I decided I’d give it one more semester. As we made a game-plan for the spring, my mom suggested I try out for a musical group. I didn’t like a cappella because I didn’t want the pressure of being the only one on a part, and I didn’t think anything could beat singing classical music. That left me with Cornell’s Treble Chorus. I set up my audition and arrived to it trembling on the 25th of January. Immediately, I was disarmed by the warm welcoming energy from the director and the members in the lobby, and at that point I knew--this was the group I wanted to belong to. A few days later, I was thrilled to get an email offering me a callback. As I went through the second round, I only grew more determined and more certain that I wanted to join. Members greeted me with smiles and kind words at my callback rehearsal and I was stuck by the beauty of their sound. Needless to say, I just about jumped over the moon when I got in. My spring semester proved much more fruitful than the fall. As the weeks passed, I remembered what it was like to apply myself and began to gain musicianship and a lot of incredible friends. I felt a glimmer of an unfamiliar feeling--pride. Making music with these people was (and is) inspiring and rewarding. Spring break came, and we went off to Canada for an incredible tour. I finally learned the entirety of the repertoire and solidified friendships that I cherish today. I came back to the states holding my head a little higher. Between the Glormal, wine tour, and Senior Week, the end of the semester was the time of my life. I come back to my second year motivated and prepared to succeed. The chorus has supported me and empowered me to work harder and strive further in all aspects of my life. Last year, I lost myself in the new context of Cornell and the chorus helped me find my path. I’m so excited for our family to grow and I hope our newbies feel at home in our community. Here’s to a great semester!