Friday, March 6, 2009

Reflection on the past two weeks

How do you define choir in your own mind?  Maybe you've been involved in choir from your very first opportunity.  Maybe you've never been involved in choral activities before.  How do you see choir students?  

I was in Chorus and Vocal Ensemble in high school.  I saw all kinds of people walk through the doors and attend those classes - from the quiet, most secluded kids, to the most gregarious social butterflies.  Our choruses consisted of mathletes and athletes; football players, cheerleaders, wrestlers, and Thesbians.  The only problem with this combination of characters, is that often times our chorus consisted of individuals who were there for the "easy A."  Those few individuals were the ones who would hold us back - the ones who never really wanted to be there.  Sometimes, if we were lucky, they would have a change of heart and, in realizing the passion that the rest of us had, would be infected with the same passion and have a change in heart.

When I came to Behrend, I had read about choir in an email that you will probably get at least eight times, and probably only read maybe once (assuming that you are either already at Behrend, or planning on coming here).  I tried to decide whether or not to take the challenge that was laid out in front of me, and in thinking about high school, decided against it first semester.  I thought it was going to be just like it was in high school - a few divas, a few modestly dedicated, and enough people who didn't want to pull their own weight to slow everyone else down.

One semester sitting on the sidelines while everyone else was finding their niche was enough for me.  A friend convinced me to join choir - you meet great people, you get credit for the class, and you have fun being a part of something.  That was the platform upon which I made my decision.

Now, this is my third semester in Concert Choir, and my first semester in Chamber Singers.  You know what I see?  You know what I think about when I think about choral activities and choral students?

I see a group of dedicated individuals.  I think about the hours and hours of time that we spend each semester in and out of class, working tirelessly on our music with the hope that we might scrape the surface of perfection.  I think about the general philosophy that we have as Choirs at Penn State Behrend:  We strive for excellence - good is not good enough.  Greatness in one practice is almost always at the expense of the next, unless you develop the skill to pinpoint your own strengths and weaknesses within the piece.

I see a choir made up of people who are passionate about music, and serious about improving their own skill.  We have people in our choirs who are involved without getting scholastic credit.  That's what makes us different.  There is no music major (yet) at Behrend, so all these people come together to create music because we want to, not because we have to - and God knows that choir is anything but an "easy A."  We work hard to earn our credit.

We also understand when its time to have fun and relax.  In just a few short weeks we'll be invading NYC!  We've been working hard to memorize all of our material before performing there.

We take our time seriously...  This past week, we still held rehearsals even when our director couldn't be there due to a conference.  We'll have a few pictures up on our photobucket of that practice (unfortunately, my camera died about halfway through).

Well, I'm trying to get over a cold and it's a little late.  We'll talk later!

Mandee :)