Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What BCC Means to Me - So Much More Than Just Tuesdays and Thursdays

By: Elizabeth Stutts, Premier Choir
Elizabeth has been in BCC for 7 years. She is 16 years old.

Elizabeth during her first tour (to Japan) in 2005.
In my very first year in the chorus, I was able to go with the group on a tour during the summer to Japan. That more than anything else began to define my experiences with the chorus, and became one of the reasons I stayed involved in it for year after year. Thanks to BCC, I could go to places that my family would not be able to go to, or send me, for many different reasons. Not only that, but I was going to these different places for a reason- I was going as a performer, as an "ambassador of harmony." I could learn from this place I was going, and I had something I could contribute there as well. I learned that on my very first tour, and I have only had that knowledge affirmed since then.
Tour, and performances, were at first the biggest draws of the Boston Children's Chorus for me. Both were something new and exciting for me, something that I had never really been given a previous chance to experience. Over time, however, more reasons were added on to these first two. I got to meet and become friends with many of my fellow chorus members over the years, thanks to the frequent rehearsals, performances, and even tour. What had before been simply a group of children changed with each year. The ties between all of us got stronger, and soon enough, the group was close enough to become a family. At first, I don't believe many of us noticed it, and I know that I almost certainly didn't. Perhaps we all really began to notice it when we had our first graduating senior, because at that point we had our first person who left the chorus because they had gotten to old- not because they wanted to leave. That departure was a moving experience for many of us, and it showed just how much of a family we had become. The last performance in every year is now a monumental occasion, because in some cases, it is the last time that some members of the group will ever have to perform with us. It is then that we mourn the presence of a friend who is leaving us.

I know that next year, my senior year, will be hectic for many reasons, primarily because of the high expectations of the charter school I now attend. This year as well has been very trying on me, as all of my classes are more demanding than ever before, and maintaining good grades requires a great amount of time and effort. No matter how hard it gets, though, I am not going to give up on the time I have remaining with the chorus. It means too much to me to let this go without doing my best to stick through things as long as I can. I have made my closest friends through this community, and even the people I don't know as well I feel connected to, because we share something- a love of music and a commitment to BCC.
This community is much more open, and all-encompassing, and welcoming, than any I have ever been a part of, and I would have to be insane to give up a group that can look at a person for who they are, and accept them and love them for it. That has helped me to learn about myself, and not be afraid to be myself, even if being myself might seem strange to my peers at school. Their opinions do not matter to me as much as the encouragement I receive to be an individual whenever I come into chorus for rehearsal. I have had my eyes opened in so many ways over the years, it is impossible to describe. The chorus has touched nearly every aspect of my life.

If nothing else, when I do finally graduate, I doubt I will ever know again what to do with my Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. That is the time when rehearsal is supposed to be, after all.

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