Senior Reflection

by Marguerite Shaffer '10

“No one can find the rewind button now. Sing it if you understand.” 

When I arrived for orientation week four years ago, I stumbled upon After Eight at a Balch arch sing. All I remember is Becky Sopchak’s comforting voice telling me to “just breathe”. Four years later I am now reflecting on how much the Chorus has shaped my college experience. The most important lesson I learned from the Chorus is that being a woman is not synonymous with being weak. The Chorus is filled with music and with people that exude strength, beauty, and intelligence. The type of people that won’t put up with whining. The type of music that shakes a person up inside. I have been continually impressed by the professionalism of my friends, and by the image of strength that the organization conveys to the larger world. For this lesson on good character, I am truly grateful.

Some of my favorite Chorus memories include seeing composer Abbie Betinis run up and hug Tucker after our performance of her song at Harvard, singing Itsy Bitsy Spider at the top of my lungs around a campfire in Blacksburg, playing Sarah Hansen’s games at Retreat (I still remember the time Meghan broke her nose…), and trying to sing the Credo in Bernstein’s Mass while not being able to see Tucker because I had a giant black hood over my face. I went to China with the Chorus and sang the Brahms Requiem in Bejing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. The Shanghai performance – probably the best performance given by the Chorus and Glee Club in my four years – was conducted by Tucker, proving once again how lucky the Chorus is to have him for a director. I remember eating Hot Pot in Shanghai, climbing the Great Wall of China, and visiting the Forbidden City with my best friends.

I will miss standing on my tip toes during “lift the chorus”, singing the Evening Song every Wednesday at sunset, and seeing Tucker’s look of fear every time we sing “lapping up the high high ball” in Davy. I will miss John Rowehl’s yoga lessons and late nights in the Sage Chapel basement. But most of all I will miss the Chorus women who made the music magical. No one can describe with words those intimate moments when the Chorus is perfectly in tune with one another harmonically and emotionally. It’s those times that I will always cherish and appreciate. I have been privileged to sing with talented and loving human beings. As Tucker would say, “You are good people.” Thank you, Chorus, for all the memories.