The Online Beacon

The Student News Site of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The Student News Site of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The Online Beacon

The Online Beacon

The Online Beacon

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On Wednesday, January 17th, the MCLA Choir held an open rehearsal at 4:00 pm at the Church Street Center Auditorium. The choir students took their places on stage, seated in a circle while instructor Erin Milne, of MCLA Concert Choir, took her seat at the piano. The seven students engaged in a vocal exercise and physical warmups before they began. Afterward, Milne rearranged the student’s seats, taking into account their vocal range. 

The choir students were later introduced to a few different songs, which they casually learned in a “repeat after me” style, while the open rehearsal took place.

When asked what songs were sung, Milne replied, “The first one was Turn The World Around by Harry Belafonte, and the second was Gaudiemus Hodie by Earline Rentz”. Both songs preached hope, and Milne wishes to add a song expressing the stories of Palestine and Israel but wants to do so in a way of sensitivity. She says, “Making music as a group with other humans is something that speaks to my soul. Nothing else does it like making art in a community, community art of the living and breathing. Intentional sounds together in harmony make a unique form of expression.” 

Sam Sambroderik ’26, a student in choir, tells us, “I started choir last semester. I love music and always have. I play piano but I’ve never really gotten to sing, so I took choir as an opportunity to start.”

Both Sambroderik and Milne mention that they hope for growth of numbers in the choir. 

“I want to see more people join. We had around ten members last semester. It was a great show, but I know there are a lot more people that can sing on campus. So, I think it’d be cool with more people”, Sambroderik says. They claim the overall choir community is a “very welcoming” environment of people.

An audience member, Aimee Lee ’27, says the open rehearsal was advertised on the Campus Groups App, mentioning she also heard about it through a friend.

“I don’t know anyone very well in the choir, but I wanted to support my peers’ performance. I also think music is an important form of art”, she says. 

When asked what she was most looking forward to about the open rehearsal, she told us, “I’m most looking forward to hearing my peers sing and what songs they’ve chosen. I’m so excited to hear their beautiful voices! And I am sure I will be amazed!” 

Lee sat smiling while she listened attentively to her peers’ performance. Every student on the stage seemed to complement each other well. Different musical terms were brought up, such as “harmony”, “soprano”, “alto”, “minor keys”, and “major “keys”. 

At the end of the rehearsal, Milne broke down teaching the MCLA Concert Choir in the past. She explained to the Beacon that Covid took a toll on the class, “I want to grow the choir. The choir met before COVID-19, but we lost all the momentum of most of the students who ran it before graduation. The choir is where anyone who loves to sing can go and experience growth. No auditions are held. We welcome singers of all levels. At the end of the term we usually sing about five songs in the concert. Last time we sang six songs and it went well. It gave me chills. Their expression and free sling were so in the zone. I’m fortunate we have such strong singers now, but it’s hard to maintain a program if it doesn’t grow. The goal is to grow the program over time. I would love to have a twenty-five-person program.” 

The MCLA Open Choir Rehearsal was a wonderful watch, to say the least. If you are interested in joining the class, email Erin Milne at [email protected]. No auditions are required. She hopes you will consider!

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Mariposa Ribon, Staff Writer

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    Erin MilneFeb 2, 2024 at 12:09 pm

    Thank you so much for this fantastic profile! It’s not too late to join up for the current semester; I’d be happy to help any students wishing to add the class with the paperwork for adding after add/drop. Please reach out to me at the email above!