My time in the University of Illinois’ Chamber Singers has been truly amazing. Dr. Andrew Megill is a world-class choral conductor and our university is incredibly lucky to have him. My relationship with Dr. Megill began in the summer of 2016, when I participated in the Illinois Summer Youth Music program.
I sang in the choral division of this program, which consisted of a week of rehearsals with Dr. Megill! This ignited my interest in the choral program at Illinois, and was a big factor in my decision to study here. I was so inspired by Dr. Megill’s extreme precision with choral music and his absolute determination towards excellence. When I got to Illinois, I worked with him in the Oratorio Society, and then I joined Chamber Singers my sophomore year! I loved all of the projects we did, from canonical works like Handel’s Messiah to intriguing new works with marimba. As I have detailed in past blog posts, in-person choir rehearsals have been a significant highlight of this year. We were able to have a Chamber Singers season that remarkably resembled a normal year! The recording sessions we shared with the community were wonderful to be a part of, and I feel that unsurprisingly, Dr. Megill was able to hold to the same standard of musicianship that he would in a normal year.
My Chamber Singers career ended in a pleasantly unexpected way. We recorded a few last pieces in the Krannert Center Green Parking garage, and this was a great way to end the year. We recorded a very unique piece, “Epitaph for Moonlight” by R. Murray Schaefer, and nailing this piece in the parking garage was very gratifying. Our recording of a piece for Paige Graham’s recital was very fun as well. We even pulled off a recording of the “Sanctus” from Poulenc’s Mass at the last minute. We were really giving it our all as this was the last time we would sing together. It was such a gratifying ending to my wonderful time in Chamber Singers.