Saint Mary’s choir tours over spring break
Martha Reilly | Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Performing at venues in Colorado, Missouri, Kansas and Indiana helped members of Saint Mary’s Women’s Choir ensure their spring break didn’t fall flat.
Senior Lauren Zyber said the group stayed with alumnae of the College at various stops on the tour, and seeing them in the crowd added an extra dimension of meaning to the concerts.
“A lot of them were very emotional and moved by the music,” Zyber said. “Seeing them tear up in the audience … I had to force myself not to look at them because it would make me really emotional about this experience.”
Several of the alumnae who housed choir members achieved professional success after graduation, Zyber said.
“We stayed with a music major who is now a pulmonary specialist, a top doctor in her field,” she said. “It was really wonderful to see how successful Saint Mary’s women are.”
According to Zyber, the choir bonded while traveling, as members had the opportunity to explore new cities together while making memories.
“I think touring brought a lot of people together,” she said. “It just reaffirmed my love for this community and the sisterhood that extends beyond your class.”
Sophomore Grace Haase said the alumnae she encountered along the way provided her with valuable advice about discerning a career path.
“One of the main things I’ve learned through choir is that it’s okay if you don’t know what you want to do after graduation,” Haase said. “That’s something the alumnae drilled in my head.”
According to Haase, Women’s Choir maintains such a tight-knit relationship because all members are made to feel indispensable.
“One of the most interesting things about our choir is that everyone is valued equally,” Haase said. “Everyone is important. There’s no ‘this person is better than this person.’ You have to make sure that your voice doesn’t stand out.”
Zyber said belonging to Women’s Choir enforces ideals of commitment and teamwork.
“You learn about how you can blend with people and how if one person is gone it affects the whole choir,” Zyber said. “If one person is missing, it’s automatically heard, and we sound weaker. That naturally fosters a strong community.”
According to Zyber, the friendships members of Women’s Choir develop play integral roles in improving the quality of their performances.
“When people care about each other, they’re just naturally going to sing better together,” she said. “It increases morale, and that connection can actually really affect your sound. When you’re singing with people that you can connect with, it becomes something really special, and I think that transfers to the music.”
Haase said touring with her peers taught her the importance of caring for those she sings with.
“Staying a night with a bunch of other girls and being forced to have a sleepover really enhanced the connection we have,” Haase said. “I’ve made some of my best friends through choir.”
Zyber said performing with Women’s Choir enables her to learn from those around her.
“One of the things that is great about choir is that you get a lot of people from different backgrounds and majors and disciplines and fields,” she said. “Choir is not talked about as a team sport, but it really is. When you sing in a choir, you learn about how you can listen to other parts.”
Zyber said she was happy to see first-year students enjoying the touring experience, since she strives to welcome them into the group.
“It was really great to see the freshmen blossom,” she said. “Being a senior, it’s interesting to think about how I am a leader in the choir. I think back to … how much I looked up to the upperclassmen.”
Students should embrace the opportunity to listen to the choir’s music at its upcoming concert, which will take place at 7:30 p.m. on March 24 in the Church of Our Lady of Loretto, according to Zyber.
“Our [music] is very lively,” she said. “There’s a lot of variety. The music also reflects the Saint Mary’s community as this religious institution but also this institution of learning and love.”
According to Zyber, knowing the Saint Mary’s community supports Women’s Choir energizes the group’s performances.
“Not only are we sharing our music, but we’re also sharing the gift of Saint Mary’s,” Zyber said. “That’s why we sing.”