Stephanie Shea '12
Four years have flown by already. When I reflect on the time I’ve spent with the Cornell University Chorus my mind is flooded with a montage of snap shots:important scenes, faces, quips, melodies, and everything else that the Chorus has given me. My family and I still sometimes think back to the day we attended the Orientation Week Concert in Sage Chapel and my parents said, “Wow, wouldn’t it beamazing if you joined the Chorus?” The answer to this rhetorical question, of course,is yes! After eight – no pun intended - semesters in this group, I can say with confidence that the Cornell University Chorus is truly an amazing group.
When the Chorus is singing at its best, we sound angelic, powerful, and breathtaking. To me, the Chorus serves as an example that the best things in life are worth working for. Singing with the chorus is extremely rewarding, but it can also be taxing, tiring, and stressful. The responsibilities and challenges that come with the territory of being a Chorus woman are numerous. The weeks leading up to concerts require a lot of rehearsal, energy, preparation, and patience, but the performances make all the hard work worth it. The caliber of music is at such a high level that the delight of the audience becomes contagious. What’s even more rewarding is the approval and praise we receive from Tucker. We know his compliments are real because he is always honest, even if it means offering critical feedback and telling us, “You are good people.”
To all current and future members of the Cornell University Chorus, I would like to offer two points of senior wisdom and advice. Firstly, make the most of your rehearsal time. Be as present and “in the moment” as you possibly can. If you are stressed out your mind may wander, or if you are exhausted your eyes may close,but please tune in – pun intended this time – to what your director tells you. If you stay present in rehearsal, and really listen, you will learn so much. Listening will improve the quality of your own voice as well as the overall sound of the group. Achieving musical excellence is a consistent goal of the chorus, and with a little bit of effort it can also be a consistent reality!
Secondly, never forget how incredible the Chorus is as both a vocal ensembleand a student-run organization. We all know how impressive this ensemble ismusically, but the Chorus is so much more than that. The Chorus helps young women to grow as musicians, as leaders, and as people. There are so many beautiful, talented women who sing in the Chorus every year. At the beginning of each semester,Tucker tells us all, “You are here for a reason!” I firmly believe that this statement is true and that it applies to more than just vocal talent. Through the Chorus, I have met women with strong voices, women with strong musical skills, women with strong personalities, and, most importantly, strong women.
Looking back, I know that the Cornell University Chorus has been instrumental – pun partially intended – in shaping my college experience. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to learn so much, to grow so much, to give so much, and receive so much back as I have in my time with the Cornell University Chorus!