Published: September 23, 2013
On a recent Monday afternoon, students, faculty, staff and members of the surrounding community gathered in the Kurzweil Recital Hall to participate in the QCC Chorus.
While students registered in the class for credit must earn points for their grade through attendance and meaningful participation; others drop by just to listen; some do not read music or only have time to attend a few rehearsals and there are those who are interested but feel shy about singing in public.
“Our motto is: join us as often or as seldom as you can,” said Dr. Steven Dahlke, a Professor in the Department of Music who has been directing the QCC Chorus since 2009. “We offer a campus and community-wide choral experience—complete with live piano accompaniment— to learn about the joy of singing and the positive musical power of physical, vocal and emotional expression.”
Indeed, Dr. Dahlke pointed out that research continues to build the case that singing engages the entire brain at once; releases endorphins; and instills a strong sense of well-being that group singing imparts.
“Singing is a great anecdote to anxiety,” said Timothy, a student in the Department of Nursing. “Last semester was really stressful and chorus helped me relax with my friends and take my mind off my studies for a while.”
The repertoire for the fall term includes Diamond Road by Sheryl Crow; Blue Moon by Rodgers and Hart; and Gravity by Sara Bareilles.
Timothy, who has been singing with the QCC Chorus for two years, added, “I like that there are a wide variety of music styles offered for different levels of experience.” He has discovered surprising advantages to singing as well.
“When I sing three or four-part harmony I must listen carefully to differentiate the sounds of my own vocal range as a tenor from the sopranos and altos while maintaining awareness of body language. This practice sharpens my ability in a key area of nursing, which is to effectively discern the subtle breathing patterns that indicate various respiratory issues, particularly in the elderly.” Timothy, who has been named a member of the Student Nurses Association, plans to graduate in December of this year and continue his studies through the Dual/Joint program at Hunter College/Bellevue School of Nursing.
Dr. Dahlke added, “We encourage everyone to focus on the “glee” and social benefit of group singing—the beautiful tone may follow.”
The QCC Chorus meets Mondays during club hours from 1:10 p.m.-3:00 p.m. in the Kurzweil Recital Hall, Room 144 in the Humanities Building. In addition to an end-of-semester concert held on campus in December, the chorus sings at local senior centers, neighborhood festivals and at holiday events.
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