Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hey Everyone!

I'd like to start by introducing myself.  My name is Mandee Kate Morrow and I'm your '08/'09 Publicity and Concert Manager of PSB Choirs.  I'm the one running around rehearsal taking pictures, and also the one before the concerts who is trying to make sure everything runs the way that it should.  I try to post the pictures that I take in a timely manner, but it doesn't always go as expected :).

Evan and I have agreed to start this choir blog, and we are so pumped about it.  We are more excited than anything else to have the opportunity of showing you what choral activities are like through our eyes, and the eyes of our classmates.

I just want to explain that the Choirs at Penn State Behrend are unlike any other choirs that I've ever participated in before.  Under the direction of Dr. D. Jason Bishop, our choir unifies as more than just a class, more than just a choir, or a group of individuals.  Our choir has developed into a community and a "surrogate family" environment.  Our programs foster special values and gestures that I have rarely seen anywhere else.  We value each other as friends and family.  We welcome constructive criticism, and even raise our hands to take blame for a flat, sharp, or just dead wrong note.

That last comment is a phenomenon that continues to shock and amaze me about our choir.  Living in a world where people are so quick to choose scapegoats and place blame on others, it is refreshing to see and be a part of a group of students who take pride not only in their accomplishments, but also in their faults - and are so willing to take the initiative to improve.

Fall semester had brought so many complications and obstacles that had sometimes blinded us from seeing the light of our potential; yet, with Dr. B's help, hope, and guidance - and our own willingness and dedication, we broke down those barriers.  This semester is no different - as every semester shall reveal.  We take the time to realize our flaws, and we work hard to eliminate them and any other barriers that might hinder us from achieving greatness.

In this choir, you have to want it - even when you can't understand what it is that you want...and you can never walk away from a rehearsal thinking "that went well," because the only way to reach and surpass your own expectations, is to understand that there will always be room for improvement.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Welcome to the experience of a lifetime!

And yes, I do emphasize that this will be something you never forget. Whether you're just one part of the collective body, or you're the audience we perform for, the Choirs at Penn State Behrend truly leave an impact on you no matter which aspect you take on. For those of you reading, I'm the President of Choirs here at PSB for Fall-Spring 2008-2009 school year. As the spring semester is about a third of the way though, I've realized that though I'll only be on board for another ten weeks, myself and the other officers (and even the rest of the choir) have a lot in store for us!

As it stands, around 45 of the almost 60 members of choir are attending a New York City trip at the end of March! This is extremely exciting, because it will be the first trip anyone from a PSB Choir has taken with the still-fresh Dr. Jason Bishop. A lot of hype, planning, and effort on all parts have gone into making this trip a possibility and we're all looking forward to spending four musical and exciting days in the Big Apple!

As the officers make last minute preparations [such as where we might be performing, including the above location of Times Square], many students - prospective singers, curious members, or just curious students - might be wondering what's in store for the future of choirs here at PSB. A lot of this answer lay largely on the future of the leadership of the choirs. Diligently, your elected leaders work to bring you a quality of education in choral activity that's both enriching and enticing; whether or not this includes trips (and more often than not it will) is up to them!

Stay tuned for more information on New York and for upcoming videos of choral rehearsals!

Your Choir President,


You're one and only Director of Choral Activities