[by Jessica Noss ’14]
Unable to choose a single group, I decided to stay in MITWE, MITSO, and Techiya, at least for the first couple weeks. I ended up staying all semester, which turned out to be a very bad idea by the end of the semester. All three groups had their end-of-semester concerts on the same weekend, which coincided with end-of-semester projects, the last round of psets, and other hecticness. By the end of the semester, I knew I couldn’t stay in all three groups. But I really didn’t want to leave any of them, because they were all so much fun!
MITWE fall 2010, photo courtesy of The Tech.
I decided to quit either MITWE or MITSO, since Techiya was the only singing group, and I figured I could handle two groups.
The MITWE director, Dr. Fred Harris, is a great conductor. He’s very fun, energetic, and he comes up with the most ridiculous – yet appropriate – analogies. One of my favorites was when he was trying to explain how to be more expressive and what sort of mood the piece should have: “…more like a feather bed. Right now, you’re sleeping on a water mattress- only, it’s frozen.” Although MITWE rehearsed 7:30-10pm twice a week, it was just really fun. And in case you’re wondering, a “wind ensemble” is the same as a “band.” I think they call it MITWE (pronounced mit’-wee) just because it sounds nicer.
The MITSO director, Dr. Adam Boyles, is simply amazing. Words cannot describe why I love him as a director. He’s very professional, patient, and supportive. He pays attention to the tiniest musical details and fixes everything so that it’s perfect. His level of musicianship just makes me feel so lucky to be a part of MITSO.
After much debating, and much wishing I could stay in all three groups, I finally chose to stay in MITSO simply because it was less of a time commitment. As a wind player, I often don’t play in every piece, so I don’t have to go to the entire 7:30-10pm rehearsal twice a week. Also, playing in fewer pieces means less music to practice, which saves time.
Ironically, I ended up joining yet another group a couple weeks later. Chamber Chorus was looking for more altos, so I came to their rehearsal and got in without an official audition or having to sing solo! I guess sometimes music groups are just as desperate for members as I was originally desperate to be in groups. Also, there apparently aren’t very many people who want to rehearse at 9:30am. The Chamber Chorus (and Concert Choir) director, Dr. Bill Cutter, is yet another excellent conductor. With so many incredible singers (the ones who actually had to audition to get in) who can actually sight read pretty well, he can spend time on details like dynamics or when to say the final /s/ at the end of the word “place.” He also teaches us how to speak English – did you know “whisper” (and other words that begin with a “wh”) is actually pronounced “hwisper”? It’s amazing how much better a song sounds when everyone says the words the same way, with clear diction. Chamber Chorus is a really great group, and I still can’t believe I got in.