Our Voices Sparked a Flame: A Class of 2023 Senior Essay

By Skye Duplessis

Scintillating stars adorn the silhouette of tree branches splayed across the backdrop of night; a garland of galaxy light. Choir camp was consistently the highlight of my summer. One day of the week, once the day was stolen by night, our voices sparked a flame. Almost as if we were fueled by the stars, the cool air, and aerosol bug spray. Preceding the night walk, we would sing in a circle with our hands clasped and the harmonies would coalesce to vibrate the air like a tuning fork. “Round and round the Earth is turning.” Then in a line, we walked without flashlights into a forest ridden with burled knots and stumps. In the black of night, we had to communicate to ensure that no one in a line of forty was injured. We didn’t speak and rather used our hands to translate our surroundings into sparring squeezes. A strengthened grip warned of a root. A rhythm would emerge as the night progressed. A squeeze at the front of the line passed through each individual to the back; like a caterpillar peeling its legs up from the earth.

This process is meditative. It’s a lesson to be aware of your surroundings and focus on the input in front of you so you can pass the signal to those around you. This system is applied to when our teamwork is transposed to the stage. In concert, I must listen to the person next to me and match their tone. I then project this timbre to my adjacent choral mates. Choir taught me the strength of translating your surroundings into something tangible, whether voice or body, in order to better the team.

I was an incredibly shy and quiet child. However, I was my most unencumbered at choir. Through performance within a group, I became comfortable being naturally reserved but also uninhibited being loud. Leaving SGC, I will miss all the staff and faculty who watched me grow and made every choral moment so truly special. All the childhood memories I hold so dear would not have been possible without them. And I will miss my choir family who, before the sky blushed pink at camp, would sit around a campfire and sing “Ghost Chickens in the Sky” at full force.