A Quick 'Note' on Being the Director of The Singing Saints | St. Lawrence University

A Quick 'Note' on Being the Director of The Singing Saints

Monday, December 10, 2018

When I came to SLU, I knew I wanted to be a Singing Saint -and the experience has given me more than I could have ever imagined.

The Singing Saints is the only all male a cappella group on campus. SLU sends us on a tour each semester to perform for and network with alumni. I auditioned the first semester of my first year and immediately was catapulted into a circle of passion and camaraderie with 16 talented gents garbed in red jackets.

My first year and sophomore year have gone by so fast, but the clearest memories I have are of the Saints' tours with my best friends exploring cities that are hubs for Laurentian engagement. In my two and a half years, the Saints have travelled to Washington, D.C., Burlington, Vermont, New York City, Albany, New York, and Boston. One of my favorite memories is of gathering around the base of the Washington monument for a rehearsal before our show and running through our setlist. We sounded good and tourists started circling and recording us, getting what I’m assuming to be stellar footage as we sang within view of the White House, Lincoln Memorial and Capitol Building.

The first two years I was in this group were like magic. I would hear from our directors that we had news of our next destination, and within a few weeks we were all packed into our cars headed down to whatever city they had selected for us. We would arrive at a shiny hotel in the heart of town, and argue over who would room with who and who got which bed. From there, we would show up at a beautiful venue full of people who live and breathe St. Lawrence and would cheer us on.

Our tours were a carefree time to bond with our brothers and rub shoulders with Laurentians who might just give us the internship of our dreams.

But this year everything changed…

I was voted General Director of the Saints last spring. This job carries a heavy load- I am in charge of budgeting, setting up our concerts, setting up auditions for new members, ordering music, apparel, supplies, and of course, planning tours. Thank God we have a music director who can teach the music so that we actually sound like an a cappella group!  If it were only me in charge, we would be a logistically sound group of diverse guys, end of story.

With this new title and responsibility came a hard reality. The magic of the whole operation died a little bit when I experienced the rigorous work that was expected of me in order to create a seamless semester of singing, touring, and bonding. The previous director, Nick Santaro, '18, left me with this advice: “It can be easy to let the task weigh you down, but when you pull it off and see all those red jackets up on stage, you will know it was worth it.” And, he was right. As the semester comes to an end, a pride swells in my chest for all the efforts put forth by every guy in the group to put on a stellar tour this year in the State Capital.

I feel blessed to go to a school like St. Lawrence where these opportunities are presented to students. Most of my friends at different schools who are in clubs or are leaders of clubs are typically overseen by a faculty advisor who is the one actually running the logistics. Being able to run things ourselves not only gives us freedom to operate how we would like, but truly readies us for the real world, filled with responsibilities and obstacles.