Standing With an Army

Four years ago, during the spring of my senior year in high school, I was sitting in my journalism class, awaiting the end of the school day. One second it's a normal Friday, and the next, a group of 16 girls is walking into the room. They ask if I'm in the class and they begin singing Carolina Girls to us. It was a "promposal" and a pretty fantastic one at that. 

That was the day I decided I wanted to be a Tar Heel. And the day I knew I wanted to be in the Loreleis

Fast forward four years and I'm figuring out how best to present my senior song to the group. (In most college a cappella groups, graduating seniors get to choose one song, a swan song of sorts, that they want to sing the solo for at their final concert, the last time they take the stage for a show with their group.) I had three and a half years to figure out, but leave it up to the most indecisive person in the world to make her decision within a week of the deadline..... These are my very best friends I'm about to say goodbye to on April 1st, so the song had to be something that I wanted to leave on the stage for my last time singing with this group. 

Loreleis has been something consistent and personally transformative over the last few years.

I haven't had the perfect college career. I've stumbled a couple times and have learned a lot about myself and what I want in life. It hasn't exactly been the most graceful, but Loreleis has made it memorable, worthwhile and as perfect as I could have imagined it being. It's given me purpose, goals, and a reason to really care about UNC and what I do here outside of the classroom. A chance to make lifelong friends, to engage with some of the most talented people at UNC in making music and to be able to study in a craft that is more universal than any spoken language. It's taught me how to work with different types of people, how to balance friendships and business relationships, how to appropriately act as a representative to clients, how to lead, and maybe more than anything, how to be confident in my abilities. A cappella is sort of a hilarious concept, yes, but the values and lessons that I'm taking away from being a leader in a business for the last four years and the friendships that I'm leaving this group with have exceeded any and all of my first-year self's expectations.

"Club" doesn't even begin to describe what this group requires or what it means. Loreleis have been on this campus for 35 years, we've traveled around the country and world performing, we've sung on national TV, at the White House, and have opened for people like Ben Folds and Jay Leno. We practice for 3 hours every Sunday and Wednesday, we perform at 1-3 gigs each week, for on-campus club fundraisers and off-campus business events and conferences. Every year, we sing for patients at UNC Hospitals, for families at the SECU House, and for various non-profit organizations in Chapel Hill. We put on two concerts a year in Historic Playmakers Theatre and Memorial Hall, two of the largest theatres on campus. We record and produce an album every two years, and our albums have been nominated for and won multiple Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards, with songs being featured on Women's A Cappella Association and Best Of College A Cappella albums. We travel together on all fall and spring breaks to tour nationally and internationally. It's a time commitment to say the least, especially when you enter leadership roles. But it's a time commitment that has changed my life. Being a small organization of only 16-17 members each year, we depend on each member to really carry her weight. We each take on a great number of individual responsibilities and we all take on the responsibility of being the best performers possible. 

Most importantly to me, we're an organization that has the opportunity to directly represent the General Alumni Association and UNC-Chapel Hill to the Chapel Hill community and beyond, an honor and privilege that is impossible to take for granted. 

For my senior song, I've chosen to sing the song Army by Ellie Goulding, and listening to the words I think it's pretty easy to figure out why. (I'll be taking the curse word out!)