College Women’s Choir releases CD
Martha Reilly | Friday, September 8, 2017
The Saint Mary’s Women’s Choir is used to performing at various campus events, but its sound can now resonate with a broader audience, as the group released its newest CD — titled “O Lux!” — on the Pro Organo label.
Senior member of Women’s Choir Franny Wall said the recording process, which took place in the Church of Loretto last spring, was serendipitous.
“It’s really expensive to do this, so if you’re going to make a CD, you have to be sure that it’s going to be … exactly what you want and everything is in shape,” Wall said. “We had a really good blend, everything sounded good and we were going on tour, so we had a lot of practice. We had a really diverse repertoire, and we sounded really good.”
The group’s dynamic strengthened as a result of recording a CD together, Wall said.
“Making music together, in general, bonds people,” she said. “Women’s Choir is pretty close to begin with, and then being together from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. really was a fun thing to do. You wouldn’t get that experience with any other friends you have, so I think it really brought us together.”
Junior Grace Haase said crafting a CD provided her with more insight into the recording process and fortified the College’s values of persistence and dedication.
“It’s not something I had done before, and it takes a lot of time to get it right,” Haase said. “I think it’s all about having a good work ethic and really committing to something. All the women in [Women’s] Choir are in it because they love to sing.”
Haase said she feels proud to belong to such a successful group of women.
“Having a CD really showcases how good of a choir that a small college in Indiana has,” she said. “We’re all super tight-knit. There’s a family aspect that we all have, and we’re all really close.”
Wall said Nancy Menk, chair of the department of music, was thrilled with the dedication and talent of each member.
“She was so happy with how everything went,” Wall said. “She prepared us beforehand and said, ‘This is going to be a very long and grueling process. We’re going to have to run things, and we’re going to have to cut things apart and redo them.’ But then … the first night we got through almost all of the a capella pieces, which is maybe half of the program. That’s a good memory.”
Menk’s direction and expertise, Wall said, ensured the choir could perform at its full potential.
“If she thought we were good enough and could make this happen, we didn’t really have to worry about anything,” Wall said. “She would know.”
Haase said her involvement with Women’s Choir has sparked lasting friendships that have left permanent impressions on her.
“It’s not a chore to have to go to all these extra rehearsals because you’re just there with all your friends,” she said.
Women’s Choir extends its best effort to make Saint Mary’s a welcoming and uplifting atmosphere, Haase said.
“Women’s Choir sings at all the important events,” she said. “It shows what a good choir we have and what good talent we have for being such a small school. Something Dr. Menk said when she listened to the recording was that she could not hear one person’s voice during the entire CD because we blended really well together. It’s about being conscious about how you interact with other people.”
Wall said she feels fortunate to pursue a music major at Saint Mary’s, where the professors place individual attention on each student and care deeply about personal improvement.
“You can tell [the music professors] want you to succeed and have fun while doing it or have it not be too stressful,” Wall said.
Women’s Choir unites the student body, Wall said.
“There’s a really special bond that happens with singing together and singing for an audience,” she said. “You’re sharing a part of yourself with the people listening.”
“O Lux!” can be purchased at the Saint Mary’s bookstore, on Amazon or directly through the department of music in Moreau Hall.