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Miami chorale clubs have student moods, morale hitting high notes

By Alexandra Shultz
On March 4, 2014

On a particularly windy Sunday, Anna Beth Schneider got a text saying her choir practice was canceled due to weather. For many students, a canceled meeting would be a relief, but for Schneider, choir practice is the relief.

"I was really bummed that we canceled," Schneider said. "I just thought 'that's silly, a little weather shouldn't keep us from rehearsal.'"

Schneider participates in an all-girls a capella group-the Misfitz-with a group of 16 girls and takes a classical chorale class that performs as a larger co-ed group of 80-100 students.

For Schneider, her two singing groups provide a place for the world to melt away.

"If I don't have rehearsal in a day, I usually feel more stressed by the end of it," Schneider said. "It's definitely my favorite outlet for getting rid of worries and stress."

Schneider said one of the best aspects of singing in both a traditional chorale and the Misfitz is the variety of music. Chorale focuses on madrigal-style, while in the Misfitz, the girls decide what to sing and have songs ranging from Disney to current top 40 hits.

The vice president of Collegiate Chorale Tanner Scheetz said he shares Schneider's feelings on the benefits of singing in college.

"It's a huge stress reliever, mostly because of the music but also because we get to spend that time with a group that's so bonded with each other," Scheetz said.

Music major Jimmy Chase said he finds meaning in the people simply because of their shared love of music.

"Everyone is there because they love music and singing," Chase said. "That passion flows from each of us in the form of joy laughter and peace."

Relief from the stresses of college, a love of music and friendships formed were all things that have helped sustain Schneider's affinity for singing. What began as a hobby in her middle school days has grown into a lifelong passion.

"High school is when my love of choir really grew and I was super involved," Schneider said. "I spend lots of time auditioning for new groups and it was my favorite thing to do in any free time."

As Schneider entered Miami in 2012, she began to consider a future in music.

"I thought maybe I'd want to go into music education at one point, but I started to be too focused on being the best and being perfect," Schneider said.

Although she chose to take her career in a different direction, she still wanted to make sure singing was a part of her life as much as possible.

"I still always want to be the best I can be, but I wanted to take the pressure off of it and make it something for fun," Schneider said. "It's just what I love to do and I don't want to turn it into work."

For Schneider, the most fun this year so far was a concert with the Misfitz when they sang a medley of Disney songs.

"One of the seniors threw it together in less than a week and had it ready for the concert," Schneider said. "It was one of those really creative pieces that we did purely for fun."

As Schneider continues in college, she is happy to have a fun outlet to get away from work and school life.

"I'll always be grateful to have singing as a place where I can just relax and stop worrying for a little bit," Schneider said. "The people are wonderful too and have become great friends over the years."


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