Senior Perspective

Former Social Chair, Webmaster, and Vice President Jen Dilzell '13.

Graduating from Cornell is emotionally trying for any senior. But I would argue that it is by far the most challenging for those of us who have had the honor of singing in Cornell’s choral ensembles. I could write a novel rivaling the length of War and Peace about why this is true, but for the purposes of this article, I will focus on two key reasons:

1) The Music

Being in the Chorus has exposed me to some of the most amazing and powerful musical experiences that I wouldn’t trade for the world. I will never forget tour my freshman year, when the Chorus performing “Sing Me to Heaven” in South Carolina literally brought Professor Scott Tucker to tears at the podium. Nor will I ever forget finishing Bach’s B Minor Mass and watching a Glee Clubber and his dad burst into tears and embrace, both so moved by the performance and unable to find the words to appropriately express that emotion. Just this semester Chorus and GC had the pleasure of singing with the fantastic Cayuga Chamber Orchestra and when I first heard the ensemble rehearse Adagio for Strings, I was so captivated it was as though time had stopped during the piece. When it ended, I made eye contact with my GC friend Jon and knew instantly from his expression that he too had just shared in the same breathtaking experience. Moments like these, in which music allows us to share in some emotion with another person, are so beautiful and so special. I will forever feel indebted to the amazingly talented Scott Tucker and John Rowehl for their Chorus leadership over my four years here, and particularly for helping me to see how sharing music bonds us as humans in a way that nothing else can, which brings me to my next point...

2) The Friends

And by friends, I really mean family, because I have absolutely found my Cornell home in the Chorus. It started on my first day of freshman year when fate smiled upon me and I was randomly assigned Shavon Henry ‘13 as a roommate in Jameson Hall Room 1344. We both auditioned for Chorus, both got in, and 8 semesters later are still singing together and still living together, along with Chorus women Meghan Burns ‘13 and Erin Goers ‘13. My sister, Kristen Dilzell ‘11, was also in Chorus and served as President her senior year. Singing in this ensemble with her for two years was incredibly special, and although I’m now sad to have to leave so soon, I’m excited to join her as a proud alumna. Anne Jones ‘04 spoke at a Chorus senior dinner about how she is still best friends with the girls she met in Chorus to this day, and now that I’m graduating, I’m comforted knowing that I too will forever have the friends I made in Chorus and Glee Club. In the little time I have left on the Hill, I find myself choosing to spend as much of it as possible with the friends I made in these ensembles. They have been the ones who have supported me throughout my entire time at Cornell, and I feel so fortunate to know such wonderful, talented people.

Now that I’m tearing up at my laptop, it’s time to wrap this puppy up! It has been an amazing four years at Cornell, by and large due to my experience in the Chorus. I’m looking forward to coming back to the Hill  for every Reunions, Homecoming, Twilight, Return from I missing anything?...from now until the end of time!