Particpating in choirs brings community and an outlet for stress

Kelsee Brady, Campus Carrier asst. features editor

In high school, my choir director once said “Squeeze the moments.” Essentially, this is just another way of saying stop and smell the roses, but something about saying squeeze the moments made it more tangible. It hit me differently and high-school me did not realize how much I should have squeezed the moments. 

Change is inevitable and accepting that has been a challenge for most of my life. I enjoyed my high school experience, and, while most of my friends and I have drifted apart, that time holds a special place in my heart. There are days every now and then that I miss it. I know that sounds weird because you might have hated high school or you could not wait to get out, but my experience in high school was a little different from others because I was involved in the choral program. 

The one constant in my life in the midst of the whirlwind of change surrounding me has been my love for choir and singing. I love to sing in a choir, but more specifically, mixed choirs. I love the sound of all the voices coming together. The harmony and the dissonance create an indescribable feeling. 

When everyone in a choir sings the same words and rhythm, our heartbeats actually sync up. Over the long breaks, I always forget how much I long to sing in a choir. On the first day back, when we start to sing together, I can feel all the tension and pressure in my body fade away. Singing is basically therapy for me. 

This is my ninth school year participating in a choir and I am continuing to benefit from it. Music challenges me in a way that academics never can. It uses so many skills at the same time and, despite being nine years in, I have much more to learn. I am currently learning to sight-read on solfege. In the sixth grade when my choral journey began, I had to learn how to sight-read using a number system that assigns each note a number from one to seven and then repeats. This system was used throughout my high school career. 

On the first day of Women’s choir I quickly realized that the number system was a thing of my past. The Berry Choirs use solfege which assigns each note a different syllable using do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti or do. I was familiar with solfege, but I had never sight-read on it. 

I am still in the midst of learning how to sight-read using solfege. I still struggle with solfege and figuring out which syllable comes next, but I keep pushing through it. 

Despite the challenge of solfege, the memories from choir have been some of my favorites during my time here at Berry. I have so many great friends in the music department and I cannot encourage people enough to participate in a choral or instrumental ensemble. It has been one of the best decisions that I have ever made. 

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