Where are they now? Cantiamo reaches out to our alumni choristers….
What impact did Cantiamo have on you when you were a chorister/child, youth?
I wasn’t really into team sports as a kid so a supportive team environment like Cantiamo was absolutely critical to developing the skills I needed to work with people and relate to them emotionally. Working together to create something beautiful instead of competing was such a wonderful experience for me.
What did the choir experience give you to reference in your adult life?
It gave me a model for how to encourage confidence and self-esteem both as a peer and as a leader. As a mentor to the younger singers, I learned a lot about positive reinforcement and creative teaching and hey – those work just as well on adults as they do on kids!
In a more general sense, it gave me an appreciation for people’s individuality. Supporting one another emotionally during rehearsal and vocally in the music is so important in creating art. In every field of study and work, it’s the union of every participant’s skills and abilities that create the best result, just like the blend of individual voices produces a unique and precious sound.
What part does music/singing play in your life now?
I still sing in choirs with my university (we have three choirs and I sing in two of them) and act as a section leader for one of them. I also regularly have jam sessions with a few friends where we just hang out and sing together – it’s a lovely way to pass the time in the winter. And I sing when I study! I find that singing while doing math or programming makes it go a lot faster and then I can associate a piece of my academic work with the song I was singing while creating it. That’s a fun trick when studying for exams!
There are a few Cantiamo alumni who have been in these choirs with me and we are always leaders in our voice sections both vocally and socially. I love seeing the younger choristers joining the university choirs and continuing to be leaders in their new environment. The bond of our shared choral history really does continue beyond singing in Cantiamo – even women I never had the opportunity to sing with in the Cantiamo choir itself are still friends and sisters when we meet again in university choirs!