Ring of Melodies: Creating an A Capella Choir at the College of Medicine

uvmmedicine blogger Abigash Suresh '17
uvmmedicine blogger Abishag Suresh ’17

Although instruments are fantastic, there’s just something about voices. There’s a mesmerizing quality to the intonations of the human vocal cords that inspires camaraderie, dancing inside your spirit and a fulfillment of sorts. Maybe this sounds a bit dramatic, but in all honesty this is how I perceive music and singing in particular. Everyone has something that makes them so giddy with excitement it’s hard to breathe and all you can feel inside your chest is the laughter of your soul desperately trying to make its way out. For me, and I’m sure countless others, that’s music.

Despite this passion, I did not have a steady musical outlet while caught up in the whirlwind of the first year of medical school. Living truly on my own for the first time in my life, and moving to another state on top of the adjustment to medical school, consumed a lot of my energy. By March of this year, though, I was aching to sing. So I asked around and to my wonderful surprise I heard that a music Student Interest Group (SIG) had been restarted! I wasn’t sure if singing was to be part of the mix though, and at first I was reluctant to vocalize this desire.

My inspiration to pursue leading an a cappella choir came from two sources – an initial spark of interest from my end-of-first year conversation with Dr. Feldman, and the final nudge (though I’m not really sure she knows this), came from my roommate Sruthi. On a walk to school one day, she casually suggested that I should start an a cappella choir since I talked about and loved music so much. It was that moment that gave me the drive to start this choir. So that is how it went. So far, it has been a lot of foundation building: Gathering together a core choir of singers, collaborating with the Music SIG, practicing a few songs together and overall just getting excited about singing.

The vision for this choir from the start has not only been about the enjoyment of singing, although I certainly hope that will be an essential component. It’s also an opportunity to reach out to the community. My hope for the fall is that we will be able to meet together regularly and showcase our pieces throughout the year for both the UVM community and the greater Burlington area, possibly at nursing homes and residential communities.

I have a lot of hope for this choir and I know that the people involved so far have a great passion for music and singing too. I can’t wait for the ball to get rolling even more this fall!

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