Message From The President
And General Manager

June 3rd, 2016

Dear Alumnae and Friends,

We are honored to be serving as the President and General Manager of the Chorus for the 2016-2017 school year. What a year it has been, and what a year we have to look forward to!

‘Transformations’ was the theme of this year’s Twilight Concert. As we say goodbye to our seniors, reflect upon the year, and look to the Chorus’ future (especially with our centennial anniversary in 2020-2021 in mind), it becomes apparent just how fitting the theme of ‘transformations’ is -- in not only a musical, but also a personal and organizational sense.

Each year at our senior dinner, graduating members describe how the Chorus transformed their time at Cornell (see the article ‘Senior Perspective’ for a firsthand account from Amanda Hellwig ‘16). Seniors recounted stories of people they met and friendships they made, songs they sang and places where they performed -- they described the Chorus experiences which helped them grow into the confident graduates they are today.

One particularly transformative experience this year was the Chorus and Glee Club’s tour to Mexico and Guatemala back in January. This trip was some of our members’ first international travel experience, and it instilled in them a newfound cultural curiosity and a desire to travel more. For some, the trip provided a new perspective on the power of music to connect people who come from different backgrounds and speak different languages (see the article ‘Mesoamerica Tour 2016’ for more).  It is with your generous support that the Chorus is able to continually provide enriching experiences like this one.

The Chorus was also shaped this year by our all-too-short time with President Elizabeth Garrett. We had the honor of performing at her inauguration in September, celebrating the start of a new chapter in Cornell’s history. Then, with great sadness, we sang again at her memorial service in March, mourning the loss of a ground-breaking female leader and friend of the choral community. In an interview with the Ithaca Times, President Garrett emphasized the importance of lifting up strong women to become leaders and role models. She continually joined us in the tradition of rising up during the words “lift the Chorus” in the alma mater, emphasizing her commitment to supporting women’s empowerment on campus. She remains an inspiration to us in our musical and organizational endeavors.

Looking forward, the Chorus has two particularly exciting events on the horizon. In March 2017 the Chorus will host treble choirs from across the U.S. at its first-ever collegiate women’s choral conference, themed ‘Empowerment Through Music’. Preparations are also underway for the Chorus’ centennial celebration during the 2020-2021 school year (see the article ‘Centennial’ for more information). Reaching the end of our first century of song and embarking upon our second gives us the opportunity to stop and reflect on the tremendous transformation the Chorus has undergone these past 100 years.  The year 2021 also marks the end of the Chorus’ Endowment Drive and the push towards $1 million. The Endowment allows the group to evolve, grow, and provide life-changing experiences to future generations of Cornell women.

It is humbling to be part of an organization that gives so much to its members in the ways of musical opportunity and leadership experience, and it is our hope and our conviction that the Chorus will continue to thrive as an ensemble, a network, and a place of belonging for Cornell’s female singers.   

Thank you for your continued love and support of the Chorus. Please reach out to us at or any time; we love talking with our wonderful alumnae and friends. We look forward to seeing many of you at Reunions!


With Chorus love,

Marissa Grill ‘17, President

Samantha Reig ‘17, General Manager