September 2016

Choir Newsletter – September 2016


Dear Emory Choir alumni,


        My name is Samantha Frischling, and I am the current president of the Emory Concert Choir, under the direction of Dr. Eric Nelson. The year is off to an exciting start with an incredible influx of talent! Concert Choir grew to 47 singers with 22 wonderful new members, while University Chorus is 150 voices strong as we dive into the fall semester. The first few rehearsals are always filled with joy as returning members are reunited with old friends, and new members discover the magic of making music together. As returning members mentor the freshmen sitting next to them, they are reminded of the alumni that guided them through their first days of choir. We can feel you in the room with us as we work towards the goal of creating beauty that transcends the years between us.

        Thanks to the continued support of the Friends of Music, we are pleased to announce the return of the voice lessons scholarship for choir members! To hear about the impact that singing with the Emory Choirs has had on one of this year’s scholarship recipients, check out our Member Spotlight section:


Member Spotlight

“My name is Cana McGhee. I am a sophomore at Emory and one of this year’s recipients of the Friends of Music scholarship for voice lessons. I was fortunate enough to participate in both Concert Choir and Mastersingers during my freshman year. Looking back on my time in both groups, I noticed that during almost every rehearsal with Dr. Nelson, I simultaneously felt satisfied and enriched, yet also in want of improvement. The enrichment arose from the feeling of fifty human voices phonating sound from mere dots and lines on sheet music, and the challenge came from a desire to acquire every bit of knowledge and insight from my peers whose talents differed from mine. My first year in choir taught me that we as musicians all speak the language, but we also strive to speak it better: more clearly, more fluidly, more effortlessly.

I plan to double major in two languages, Music and French, during my time at Emory. Learning and working in one language often reveals variations in the expressive capabilities of another, and exploring that is why I love language. I am thankful for the opportunity to express myself with the eclectic, magical, special family that is Emory’s Concert Choir. Sharing your voice five hours a week with the same people is more intimate an act than we realize; but that is perhaps what makes the act so transformative and deeply meaningful.”



We are hard at work preparing for his year’s Fall Concert, “Music of Shakespeare,” which will take place on October 15th at 8pm! The Concert Choir and University Chorus will perform a wide variety of settings of Shakespeare’s texts. Members of the Emory voice faculty will perform solo art songs, and will join the choirs, pianist William Ransom, and violinist Elizabeth Fayette for the Ralph Vaughan Williams “Serenade to Music.”  We hope you will join us for what is sure to be an incredible concert showcasing the best of the Emory Music Department.

Preparations began in July for the annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, which will be held on December 2nd and 3rd. Lessons and Carols continues to unite past and present members, and we would love to welcome you home with this timeless tradition of togetherness, love, and beautiful music.

One of my very first choir memories is of the 2013 Glee Club reunion. That year’s Concert Choir joined with the alumni to sing “Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light,” but as a freshman who had yet to experience Lessons and Carols, I didn’t know the piece. Still, looking out at a room full of people who were singing their hearts out and connected through time by the music, I could already tell that I was a part of something incredibly special. Recent alumni, your turn is almost here! Save your vacation days for Homecoming Weekend 2017, as we plan to celebrate Dr. Nelson’s 20th year at Emory. Laurie Ann Taylor, our Alumni Relations Liaison, and I will have more details for you in the next newsletter.




Planning is well underway for the Concert Choir tour to Spain and Portugal, and we are all incredibly excited! This tour will offer our members the chance to immerse themselves in the customs of another country, broaden their horizons, and experience firsthand the power of music to transcend cultural boundaries. For many of us, this will be a once in a lifetime musical experience.

It is important to us that all members are able to take part in this experience, regardless of financial circumstances. As we rehearse and grow together over the coming year, each member will bring his or her unique voice, musicality, and passion to every rehearsal and performance. If certain members are unable to participate, not only will they miss out on a wonderful experience and the culmination of a year of hard work, but the ensemble as a whole will lack each of their contributions. As alumni, you understand that part of what makes Concert Choir so special is the diversity of experiences, personalities, academic interests, and voices found amongst our ranks. Remove any of these individuals, and you have changed something integral to that year’s ensemble.

This is where we need your help. Incredible experiences like this come at a cost, and this year that cost is approximately $3,000 per student. With a choir of 47 beautiful voices, we are facing a steep fundraising battle. Every member who is capable will be paying his or her own way, and we will be fundraising throughout the year. However, many of our members still need financial assistance. If you are able, please consider making a donation to help ensure that all members of the ensemble will be able to share this experience. (



Below you will find our schedule for the year! We hope you will find time to join us for some of these performances. If you can’t come see us in person, please connect with us through social media and our website! We would love to hear what you are up to now and about your experiences with the Emory Choirs. You can share your stories with us here: ( If you have any questions or want to get more involved as an alumnus, do not hesitate to contact me at, or our Alumni Relations Liaison, Laurie Ann Taylor, at As we embark on another year of music making, we cannot thank you enough for all that you have made possible for us. Your legacy makes the Emory Choirs what they are today.


With gratitude,

Samantha Frischling 17C

Emory Concert Choir President


Emory Choirs Concert Calendar 2016-2017


Saturday, October 15th, 2016, 8pm

Music of Shakespeare with Concert Choir, University Chorus, and Emory Artist Affiliates

Schwartz Center for Performing Arts


Friday, December 2nd, 2016, 8pm and Saturday, December 3rd, 2016, 4pm and 8pm

Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church


Tuesday, March 21st, 2017, 11:15am

Spivey Hall Young People’s Concerts with Concert Choir

Spivey Hall at Clayton State University


Thursday, March 23rd, 2017, 7pm

Three Choirs Festival with University of Georgia and Georgia State Choirs

Peachtree Road United Methodist Church


Thursday, March 30th, 2017, 7pm

Barenaked Voices with Concert Choir and Emory’s a cappella groups

Schwartz Center for Performing Arts


Friday, April 14th, 2017, 8pm and Saturday, April 15th, 2017, 8pm

Handel “Messiah” with University Chorus, Concert Choir, and Emory Symphony Orchestra

Schwartz Center for Performing Arts


Sunday, April 23rd, 2017, 7pm

Concert Choir Spring Concert

Schwartz Center for Performing Arts










Didn’t receive this email but want to stay “in tune” with Emory choirs? Email Concert Choir President, Samantha Frischling, at!