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Love letter to song


Spring 1994: The Williams College Elizabethans in front of our tour bus.

Looking back at college thirty years later, the two most formative experiences and communities for me were the Williams College Feminist Seder project (about which I’ve written before) and the Elizabethans, the madrigal ensemble of which I was a founding member in January of 1993.

We sang together for all four years of college — six hours per week, if I remember correctly? We held concerts. We packed ourselves and our luggage in a school bus and drove to the Northeast and some parts of the Mid-Atlantic, bringing “madrigals and other chansons”, geek humor and our mix of “madrigals”.

Even though I had already graduated from college, I sang with them a whole year, just because I was living in the town. Why not? It was the same with the Feminist Seder. I participated there for an entire year after graduation. Every now and then, we have reunions where we hang out with old friends.

The Elizabethans taught me how much I love harmony and polyphony. I also learned about the shared purpose between body, heart and mind that makes music real. Notes on a sheet of paper are the beginning of our journey as individuals. If we do this right, then we will become more than we are.

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