A Warm Welcome, A New Beginning

“As I packed my bags into the car and drove away from tiny Topsfield and into the unknown, I was filled with anticipation and, I’ll admit, fear.  I had never lived away from home before and I was uncertain that my transition would be an easy one.  The worst part about leaving for college was leaving my home and family behind.  For the next six weeks, I would be without both of these vital parts of my life.  I was worried I’d be homesick and that goodbye was the hardest I’ve ever experienced.

But when I stepped into the choir room for the first time, ready to take on a challenging, rigorous week, all my troubles slipped away.  I was truly at home with those who loved music as much as I did, who I am now proud to call my second family.  The atmosphere from the moment I walked into the room was one of acceptance and one of learning, where everyone present was eager to find their voice, both literally and figuratively.  In one week spent in choir, I learned more than I ever have about my favorite instrument and how I can constantly be shaping and working it to be the best it can be, both inside and outside ensemble work.  I am so grateful to everyone who welcomed me with open arms and helped me in my transition to Holy Cross.  Rock on, Chamber Singers and College Choir.” -Elizabeth Driver ’19

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“Let it happen. I didn’t really believe these words when I came to choir week. I’m Teresa Murphy, and I’m a first year at Holy Cross. In the five days before freshman orientation, I got to participate in choir week. One of the main focuses of this week was a central idea of “The Inner Game of Tennis”: Our bodies can learn to do anything; we just have to train our brains to get out of the way.

Our director, Dr. David Harris, argued that great singing could be achieved if our brain giving our body a specific goal, and then letting voice and body do its thing. This process involves no “pushing” or “trying hard” or emotional self-judgement, which I thought was impossible. If I sing badly, I scold myself to do better! That’s how I improve, right?

But throughout the course of the week, David encouraged us to “observe” and not judge. Also, we got into a new habit of setting specific vocal “goals” and then assessing them without emotional weight in the consequences. By the end of the week, I felt more free with my singing than I have in my life.” – Teresa Murphy ’19

 

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