LETTER FROM AN ALUMNA
Dear Ms. Burke and Ms. DeSantis,
I can’t remember if I left the Children’s Chorale in 1995 or 1996, but even now, as a 31 year old, I can’t imagine addressing either of you in anything other than the formal ‘Ms.’. It’s funny that these things stick with us even as we age. I still remember the seriousness of rehearsals and the joy of successful performances. I think my time in the Children’s Chorale affects me even now, almost 20 years after my last CCC rehearsal.
I left the Children’s Chorale for another high-level pursuit – I joined the US Snowboard Team soon after leaving the Chorale a year early, and used the discipline that I learned to propel me to a level of sport I never would have imagined for myself. I also used that discipline for academics and now hold a Master’s degree from Oxford in Slavonic Studies.
While I was at Oxford, I met a nice English man who also happens to be something of an amazement, musically. Like many English boys, he was a chorister at various cathedrals. He went on to become a rather well-respected organist in the UK. With his chorister background and my time spent in the Children’s Chorale, we have something of a shared musical history, and it has added enormously to the richness of our marriage.
I find myself writing to you now because for the first time in nearly 20 years, I will be attending a Children’s Chorale performance (on December 20, with the CSO). My husband will be coming with me – we are flying in from England the day before – and I am so proud to show him what my childhood musical experience looked like. I am sure I will bore him with plenty of stories of sitting quietly backstage at Boettcher, glaring at the CSO members, who never seemed quite as quiet or serious as us.
In any case, I wanted to thank you both for what was a truly formative childhood experience. I miss it to this day.
Laurie Nichols O’Sullivan – 1996
FACEBOOK POSTING FROM AN ALUMNUS:
I was driving around a nippy Houston, Texas last night with my pregnant wife and two kids in the van looking at Christmas lights and wearing, of all things, my black Chorale fleece. In our CD player was “A Colorado Kind of Christmas.” I could almost hear my Prep Choir voice singing “All God’s Critters Got a Place in the Choir.” One of my boys goes crazy as soon as the sleigh bells start the one and only Chorale style “Jingle Bells.” This is the same two year-old that laughs so hard at the first two words of “Ding! Dong! Merrily on High.” My 4 year-old’s incessant request is “the Noel song” [“Masters in the Hall” in 5/4 time]. As for me? I can never get enough “Christmas in Colorado” or “Celebrate! Colorado.” But the best part of all, was when we got home, everybody else got out of the van and went inside. I just stayed there by myself, turned the volume up, and listened to one of the most peaceful, lovely, yet simple arrangements of “Silent Night” that I know of. And oh how the memories flowed! Happy 40th, Children’s Chorale!
Brian Cook – 1999