July 29, 2015
My 14-year-old self stood next to the piano in front of more than 100 high-school girls. My teacher told me to sing a series of notes to find my range and then he would see how well I could hold a simple melody. With sweaty palms and a racing heart, I looked out at the class (after all, who is more judgmental than high-school girls?) and thought, “What in the heck did I get myself into? This was NOT a good idea.” I had never sung in front of anyone before and had zero confidence in my ability, yet there I was, center stage during the first day of my third-hour class.
Earlier in my freshman year I had a pretty bad falling out with my best friend. Some other friends, in a kind effort to bring me into their fold, suggested that I sign up for girls chorus because it was a lot of fun and a great way to meet new people. So I did. Turns out, it really wasn’t a good idea – it was a GREAT idea.
When I look back at my high-school days, many of my best memories, and best friends revolve around the vocal music program. At my school, it was a really big program with about 500 students involved – the girls chorus, a select girls choir, a male chorus, a mixed choir and a select ensemble of 20 students. Other than the male chorus, I was lucky enough to be a part of all of them.
Once I got past that first nervous day, I discovered I loved to sing and could actually carry a tune. Voice tests in front of the class became no big deal, and I even sang a solo in the choir talent show. (I did have a coughing fit during the intro and had to have the pianist start over, but hey, I survived.)
Singing by myself was fun, but singing as part of a group? That’s when the magic happened. I loved hearing all of those different voices, blended together to create something bigger and better than any one of us could have done alone. I remember our choir performing a particularly hard piece in eight-part harmonies at a competition and watching the tears roll down our director’s face and a judge wipe her eyes. Magic.
Spartans all over the world work together to make magic in all sorts of ways. Spartans like Lisa Bright, a first-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Anthropology who is working with other Spartans as part of the Campus Archaeology Program. Their project is making some really cool finds this summer, including an old outhouse near the MSU Museum. Read her FACULTY VOICE: It’s a Brick…Outhouse, to learn more about her work.
Spartans also work together to make sure students have endless opportunities. Opportunities like Malik Hall, a junior majoring in applied engineering sciences, got last summer. He was able to take a study abroad course in China that opened up a passion and influenced him to study international business. Read his STUDENT VIEW: An Open Mind, to learn more about his experience.
Even if you’re not making archaeological discoveries or studying in China, you do have a chance to make some Spartan magic happen this summer by using your voice and joining the first-ever Spartan Virtual Choir.
As I’ve mentioned before, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the MSU Fight Song, we’re asking Spartans to send us their versions of the song that will be blended with many others to form one big virtual choir. You don’t have to be a great singer, or even a good singer. Spartans should never back down from singing the Fight Song! You can easily record yourself on a smartphone and upload it to our site. Check out this video below for all the details, watch the video above for a special message from Sparty, and visit msu.edu/fightsong to upload your version.
As I learned all those years ago in high school – it’s not about the solos, it’s what happens when many voices come together as one. We really need lots of submissions because while all Spartans are singularly strong, it’s our collective power that really packs a punch! Let’s make some magic happen.