When I got to rehearsal on Sunday night, instead of our usual warm-up and get right to rehearsing routine, Dr. Leach asked us this question: “what’s going on in your lives?” Of course the room was silent for an extremely awkward thirty seconds that seemed to linger, because nobody knew whether he was actually asking us or if it was rhetorical.
Well, it turns out that he really was asking us, and he spent the better part of an hour going through the choir and asking us about exciting news, future plans, and upcoming events. It was fascinating. So many people that I thought I had a general understanding of proved me wildly wrong. It is interesting how people put up a facade or simply don’t talk about certain aspects of their lives that define them.
Everyone talked about summer jobs, upcoming recitals, or other projects that they are working on. The seniors talked about job offers (and made us all realize that they are indeed graduating), and Dr. Leach even shared details of his weekend.
An interesting aspect of this question is that it acknowledges that each of us have unique lives, and specific paths that set us apart. We share Essence, and most of our time together is spent on that, but it is important to also see the individuality of everyone, and that is something I have come to appreciate this semester.
One of the Sopranos is also in Army ROTC (I have no idea how she does more than that!), and she had received a military and academic excellence award, others had been accepted to internships, organized a philanthropic event, and countless other things. College has helped me to realize that there is so much more to people than they display for you to see, and it always requires a question like “What’s going on in your life?” to truly get to know them.
I guess that this is one of my favorite parts of Essence: going to another choir member’s senior recital (one of the requirements of a music performance degree) and 2/3 of the audience consisting of other Essence members who came to support them. Its amazing what you can find out about someone by taking the time to ask a few questions, and listening to whatever they choose to share.
On a side note – Essence has a concert this weekend! If you don’t have anything to do on sunday night, we are performing at 6pm in the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center!