Getting Into Your Rhythm at SLU

By: 
Emma Greenough
Class of: 
2018

I am that girl who you pass singing on her way to class, on a run, in line for food at Dana Dining Hall, in the shower, with friends on the way to class, and maybe even in a practice room. My preferred way of communication is through music - especially singing.

When I arrived at St. Lawrence in the fall of my first year, I had convinced myself that I would never be a music major. I come from a long line of music teachers and musicians, and I simply was not going to follow in anyone’s footsteps.  I was going to be independent and find my own path and inspirations. 

Within my first 24 hours of being on campus, unbeknownst to me, I was to become a music major, thanks to a group that would quickly become very special to me. One of my Orientation Leaders (OL) happened to hear me sing one afternoon when my First-Year Program was hanging outside of Priest Hall. My OL was a member of the Gospel Choir and told me I would be accompanying her to the service that coming Sunday, just to try it out. The next thing I knew, I was standing in the congregation at the Gospel Service Sunday, singing songs, clapping, and unable to sit still. I found myself in tears by the end of the service. Though I was most definitely missing home in those first weeks, I had found my place at SLU.

In my third year of singing in the choir, the inspiration I first felt from the same songs we sang when I was a mere first-year trying to find my way still move me forward and give me a sense of encouragement.  What makes singing in the Gospel Choir rewarding, however, is passing on this inspiration to others through song. 

The comfort, fulfillment, and joy I receive from music, especially in the Gospel Choir, made me come to the realization that my future path, wherever it may lead, needs to include singing. There is no better feeling than someone coming up to you after a service to say you made them stand up to dance, or they feel the power to go on that week because your choir’s voices has given them the ability to do so.

Finding your place at St. Lawrence, one that allows you to communicate messages of hope, joy, and inspiration, is so important for you and the SLU community as a whole.  Learn to try out new things and don't restrict yourself to certain areas.  Going to college, especially at St. Lawrence, gives you the chance to give everything “the ol’ college try.”  You have an open slate to say what you truly want and truly feel. It is because of the Gospel community that I am the student and person I am today, and why I am still here at St. Lawrence.  Since my first few weeks on campus, I have found other places through which I can send out messages of hope, including the Laurentian Singers and the Campus Kitchens Project. You must learn to nurture your mind and body in the way that inspires you and others. Once you find your first community here, you will find yourself all over campus before you know it!