Where Words Fail, Music Speaks

When I recently realized that my pink princess scooter spends more time parked in front of the Music Hall than any other academic building on campus, I decided I ought to think about declaring a music minor. The Music Hall has always been a safe haven for me upon arriving at Whitman; it’s where I go to unwind and let my spirit be free—whether that’s in a rehearsal hall with 50 other singers, or all by myself in a practice room with no friend but a piano.

Whitman’s music department is impressive in regard to the quality and quantity of staff, ensembles, and performances. Something beautiful is always occurring among the echoing walls of Chism and Cordiner because of the incredible amount of student involvement in at least one musical ensemble. As a second year student, I have continued singing in the larger Chorale choir, and additionally have joined Chamber Singers and have begun playing trumpet with the Wind Ensemble. All three ensembles have been beyond enjoyable for me so far; I look forward to flying to Boston for tour with Chamber Singers next semester, as well as continuing to laugh at Professor Gemberling’s constant joking during Wind Ensemble rehearsals (and performances!). The trumpet lessons that this school provides for me has given me the motivation to pick up where I left off in high school and improve my skills—something I may not have considered without the fantastic program I have happily happened upon here at Whitman.

The photo shown above is one taken from the livestream camera which taped our first performance of the school year: “The Annual Whitman Sampler Concert.” This small performance consisted of two pieces performed by each ensemble, including Chorale and Chamber Singers (Miles Canady), Wind Ensemble (Gary Gemberling), Orchestra (Paul Luongo), and Jazz Ensemble (Doug Scarborough). This hour long concert gave everyone a taste of the types of music we are working on for this semester, as well as a first glimpse at the brilliant work of our newest faculty member, Professor Miles Canaday. We applaud him both for the top-notch conducting skills he has brought to Whitman from the East Coast, and most importantly, for not getting flustered when the locked door prevented his choir from exiting the stage.

Something I will always love about Whitman is that there exists an enormous amount of avenues by which students express their thoughts: essays, speeches, labs, debates, presentations, and more. Among all of these avenues, however, music is the one that stands out in a special way. Where words fail, music speaks; so when I am at a loss for words, I choose music.

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