Unforgettable Experience Of An Exchange Student

By Camille Pereda

End of August: Orientation Week. I had just arrived on campus. I probably did not finish unpacking yet, but who cares?! I had heard about the Chorus auditions, I had to go.


Music is all my life. I have been playing the violin for 15 years, the piano for a little less, and I love singing, although back in France I hadn’t sung  in choirs. We didn’t have a chorus in high school or in college, you had to figure it out by yourself so its a little bit different.

Anyway, here I was, in this little room in Lincoln  Hall– I still didn’t know that I was going to spend so much time in that building – in front of Chorus teaching assistant Tim Pyper, singing La Marseillaise, the French national anthem. It was the only thing I could think of, and I did not know a word, or a note, of the American one…

I finally got in, and I still did not realize how being part of this group was going to change my life at Cornell – I mean, how it was going to MAKE my life at Cornell, since I had just arrived and was completely building everything from scratch as a fresh exchange student from France.

Two 2 hour rehearsals a week: “Wow, that’s a lot!”  I thought. But obviously, that’s what you need to make a beautiful concert -and oh my goodness Twilight 2009 was amazing!! I was a little afraid to make such a commitment, because as a non-English speaker I already had some trouble with my classes at the beginning of the Fall semester. But I never regretted it. How could anyone regret being part of this awesome group of friends, great musicians, and amazing people?! Besides, our repertoire was really diverse, so you could not be bored anytime. We put so much passion in our Twilight concert, you can really tell when you listen to the recording (YEAH GO LISTEN TO IT LIKE RIGHT NOW!!!). Then there was the Chorus Tour in the Mid-Atlantic: such a great experience. And again, we sounded awesome. I even got the chance to sing a solo which made me really proud!

Chorus rehearsals made me so happy throughout the year! Besides the musical experience, I have been enjoying the singing technique I have been learning thanks to John Rowehl and Scott Tucker,  and it was also a great bonding time! I also LOVE joint rehearsals and joint concerts, singing with the boys is so much fun. And I have to say, Chariot nights rock!! I really encourage people to go there, first because it’s a good way for Chorus and Glee Club members to hang out outside of rehearsal rime and second because you learn really funny and catchy Chorus and Glee Club songs! I just loved it!

Well, I think the general idea is pretty clear: I love the Chorus and I’m very sad to leave so soon. I hope that the next joint tour will be in Europe!!!

Dear Chorus, keep being awesome, that’s the best you can do. 
With much much love,