If you find yourself wandering the halls of CMU’s south side just after noon most days, you will no doubt hear the voices of one of CMU’s choirs. These choirs offer students an excellent opportunity to perform for their peers, grow musically, and create new university experiences.
But what happens if you aren’t a music student? Maybe you were in choirs or other musical ensembles growing up, but found other academic passions. Not to worry, you can still participate in CMU’s choirs!
My name is Cassidy and I am a second-year student studying Peace and Conflict Transformation Studies. That is where I find that my passion lies. However, I love music and singing and so I decided to take a leap of faith and audition for CMU’s Women’s Chorus. Now I find myself singing with roughly 50 other women every Friday!
As someone who isn’t a music student, I had many apprehensions about auditioning for a choir. What if I wasn’t good enough? Would it get in the way of my other studies? As I began my journey with choir in September, I found these worries slowly melting away. Like other courses, choir does require work and practice outside of the classroom, but for someone who isn’t a music student this is often a welcome break from readings and writing papers. Along with this break from other forms of studying, I found myself building new connections with women who are not in my same academic program at CMU. I did have musical and choral experience prior to joining Women’s Chorus, but even within the first rehearsal I found myself learning new techniques which I was thrilled with.
On top of offering excellent opportunities within CMU, choir gives you access to many other opportunities outside of CMU! For example, just this weekend both the Men’s and Women’s Choruses are working together with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO) to perform Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy on March 7! Maybe I’m just a music nerd, but this is an incredible opportunity to have a window into what a professional performance is!
Aside from the WSO collaboration, my favourite event on campus is Christmas at CMU. This happens around the end of first semester, and CMU’s north side is transformed into a winter wonderland of music, apple cider, and laughter—an excellent way to finish off the semester. While this may seem like a lot of work outside of your regular class schedule, it’s certainly manageable! As I said earlier, working on choral homework is often a very welcome break from the readings and papers that I’m up to my eyeballs in for my other studies.
All in all, my experience as a non-music student in Women’s Chorus has been incredibly enriching. I’ve made new friends, had new experiences, and grown in ways I wouldn’t have been able to outside of a choir setting. So, whether you’re an incoming student or a current student and you’re wondering if choir is right for you, give it a try! You may end up stumbling on a new passion of yours.
Cassidy Brown is a 2nd year Peace and Conflict Transformation Studies student.