Meet Holly Morrison. Former Harris Academy pupil and current 3rd year Law student and President of the University Choir. She tells us about her very first days in the choir – and what it’s like to sing for her university.
Picture this… Week one of my first semester and I’m still not quite 100% after Freshers’ Week. I had been busy finding my way, but had also managed to get in a bit of solo and choir singing during Freshers’ Fair. I was keen to find the Music Society and become a part of it. So, week one of rehearsals, I turned up alone, with no idea what to expect.
I sat down in the Soprano section and I immediately noticed how diverse it was. University students, staff, and everything in between seemed to be there, all with one common interest. We soon got started and I knew that I was in the right place.
It is a staple for any first year to sign up for way too many societies. While I had been in choirs before, we had never performed big, important works like the ones I was introduced to. Highlights were Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s The Creation, Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances and Will Todd’s Mass in Blue and a jazz Mass.
I had also signed up as a violinist for the Orchestra and had thought about alternating the two. However after one semester I knew that the choir was where I really wanted to be.
On the 26th of March we are putting on a very special concert featuring Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, a favourite of the Choir. The piece is majestic. The first chord gives me goosebumps.
Two years later, in September 2016 I found myself in the same chair but now surrounded by friends and as President of the Music Society (how did that happen?!). The year presented a few new challenges for the group. First, we were to undertake James Whitbourn’s Luminosity – a modern, atmospheric piece. This was performed at the Winter Concert and received rave reviews . Graeme Stevenson, our conductor, is always trying to find something different for us to tackle, which even some of the more traditionalist members of the Choir ended up loving.
Semester 2 has been the most exciting yet. For the University’s 50th Anniversary, on the 26th of March we are putting on a very special concert featuring Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, a favourite of the Choir. The piece is majestic. The first chord gives me goosebumps. The whole piece is some of the best music I have ever heard. It is a pleasure to sing. To completely contrast this, as a finale piece we are performing Eric Whitacre’s ‘Godzilla Eats Las Vegas’ which is as informal as it sounds. It is set to a narration, features ‘quasi dog-bark’-ing, clapping, screaming, and anything else you can imagine, apart from singing! However this should not be a discouragement as the music and chords are brilliant.
I would thoroughly recommend the University Choir to anyone who wants to have fun with no previous experience required and isn’t afraid to try something new. It has taught me that when you enjoy something and put in the effort, you will always pull it off. It has been a pleasure to become such an involved member of the choir.
From member, to Choir Convener, to President, I know that no matter where I am, there will always be time for music in my life.
Check out Holly and the rest of the University Choir at the Caird Hall on Sunday, 26th March for their annual performance.