Message from the Director


As I write this, we have just completed our spring semester auditions, welcoming six fine new singers to the Chorus ranks. These women were chosen out of a pool of 36 auditions, continuing a trend of larger and larger audition pools and ever greater selectivity — a testament to the recruitment efforts of our student leadership, and the growing stature of the Cornell Chorus in our community.

With so many interested singers, how do we choose who’s ready for the Chorus? All the usual factors come into play — range, vocal technique, intonation, sightreading, independence, etc. — but two equally important elements for me are curiosity and flexibility. I try to figure out if each singer has a learning curve, and if they’re able to confidently tackle new challenges on the spot. For there’s something magical about a group in which every single member is striving to better herself, to imagine an even higher plane of performance: with a choir like that, every rehearsal and every performance feels fresh. This was indeed true at our first meeting of the term, and I can’t wait to see where we can take this over the next couple of months!

I should explain that I am on a study leave this spring (something required of all new faculty members, halfway through their tenure review period). Officially, I’m not supposed to be teaching any classes. However, the momentum of the Chorus is just too inspiring — so I will continue to work with them through the end of their spring break tour. Our student leaders have been working hard to plan a wonderful trip through the southern Atlantic region – if any of you live nearby, I hope you’ll get a chance to hear the ensemble, and join us up on stage at the end of the concert! After the tour concludes, I will turn the baton over to Steve Spinelli, who will prepare the group for an exciting collaboration with the Glee Club and the Cornell Symphony Orchestra. I’ll be back for Reunions, and I hope a lot of you will join us as well — our members love singing with alumnae, and when every generation of Chorus women joins together, the sound is truly thrilling!

— Robert Isaacs

 Five of our six members at New Women's Dinner

 Five of our six members at New Women's Dinner