Euna Park ‘21
At first glance, it may seem a bit daunting to join an organization halfway through the academic year. As a spring admit, I get it. I understand the worries of finding your place in a new campus where everyone already seems to be settled down, friends made, clubs and club sports joined. The temptation to wait a semester and join with a whole host of new students in the fall can be very strong.
Despite these doubts, I went ahead and auditioned for Chorus in the spring of 2018. I was elated when I got in, but being one of just two new members to the Chorus that semester, I was worried I’d feel more like an outsider than anything. Without me, the group had gone on tour together, had sung at numerous concerts, had built up tons of inside jokes and traditions. Without a strong number of newbies to wade through unfamiliarity with me, who was I to think I could fit in?
That fear dissolved as soon as I stood with the other members at my first rehearsal — at first into awe, then delight. Eyes shining, I was rapt from warm-ups to dismissal. It was amazing listening to the dozens of talented voices mesh around me into one beautiful, full sound. After rehearsal, members approached me and walked with me to new member dinner, which erased any doubt that they would welcome me with open arms. Smiling and amicable, they peppered me with questions and answered my own, making me feel right at home.
Both the Chorus alone and with its brother group, the Glee Club (combined, we affectionately call ourselves the Glorus), feel like a large, loving family. From rehearsing many hours together to performing on stage to, on occasion, embarking on joint tours, we make joyous memories with one another every year. If the local weather were as warm as the love everyone shares and showers new members with, Ithaca would be green year-round.
Entering in the spring also allowed me to experience our most recent concert, Lessons and Carols (previously called “Vespers”), in a way that few other Chorus members can. New members sit at the back for this performance, so there I was, the oldest of the new, sat in front of bright-eyed freshmen and behind seasoned seniors of the Glorus. This was an especially interesting place to perform in the group. In front of me, I could hear Glorus past; in back, I could hear its future. There were several times when the realization of what once was and what would never be again, combined with a rush of hope and love for the future, hit me while singing and listening to the others sing. In one such instance, I was nearly moved to tears.
I wouldn’t want anyone to miss out on experiences like this. Singing with the Chorus has been such a magical part of my time so far at Cornell, and I’m so glad I looked into auditioning as soon as I set foot on campus. If you love singing, even if you don’t have much previous experience, or any at all, I’d highly suggest auditioning. We’ll be here, arms wide open.