Off the Risers: Life as a Singer (Susanna: 9/25/2013)

Hello, choral music lovers (and those of you who found this website through Googling your favorite Beastie Boy*)!

I’m Susanna Mennicke, soprano and first-year member of The Singers. I’d like to thank my fellow blogger Jake for graciously making the first post here and explaining our general purpose with this blog, and for throwing in some puns to boot! Who knew he was Haydn such a talent for wordplay?

As a new member, it seems appropriate for me to begin with some general first impressions. Forgive me if I gush a bit–I’m probably still in honeymoon phase three rehearsals in.

  • This group has terrific energy. As a professional choir, our expectations are high and we move at a brisk pace with little room for error in rehearsals. Things get done. Everyone has to put in the outside work and then stay on their toes for three hours on a Monday evening.  Sound like a fun way to start the week? Why yes, yes it is!
  • You can tell when you walk into a rehearsal that you are in a room full of music lovers, and more specifically, choir nerds. No one is there only because they like to sing (which is a wonderful quality in itself!). Choir nerds are a rarer breed of music lover. When you and your seat neighbor can share giddy anticipation before rehearsing Vaughn Williams’ Serenade to Music, or when an ensemble can be captivated by their conductor’s anecdote about having dinner at “Skip” Lauridsen’s house, or when your collaborative pianist (defiantly!) declared her intent to use her degree to work with singers, you are in a room full of choir nerds.
  • Coming into The Singers now, at the tenth anniversary year, it is easy to forget that this is a fairly young group. With all the accomplishments already under this choir’s belt, the reputation it has garnered as a premier choral ensemble, the connections it has made to prominent and new composers, etc., The Singers has already earned a legacy. As our Board President, Maureen Armstrong put it, “this is no longer a start-up group.” There’s no resting on laurels here, though. There’s a lot of hard work to continue to take this choir to even further heights, and I’m excited to be part of it!

Like many of The Singers, I’ve sung with several choirs. Starting with a new one is like being in a strange place and being at home all at the same time. Or, in the immortal words of the Muppets, “vaguely familiar; almost unreal, yet, it’s too soon to feel yet.” As the year continues, I hope to give you readers some more focused glimpses into the rehearsal process, the concert experience, and The Singers themselves. For now, I will leave with my rose-tinted outlook. I have a feeling this will be a great year.

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*If you understand this joke, you get a cookie.


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