10/2/2014 2:23:33 AM

Chorus Hitting a High Note

Thursday, April 17, 2014

By Mary Barrett '14

Since taking over the Siena College Chorus and Chamber Singers, Assistant Professor of Creative Arts (Music) Tim Reno, DMA has helped the program find its voice. Under Reno’s direction, students have a more pronounced presence at campus events and they are performing during Capital Region community and sporting events.

“Students from all majors are coming together to collaborate with professional musicians in the community and to sing for academic as well as other events on campus,” Reno said.

Along with becoming seasoned performers, the students are sharing experiences that will stick with them long after the song melodies fade from their memories.

“In just two years, I have had the opportunity to sing in a large choral group ensemble, a small select chamber group and with other professional musicians and instrumentalists,” said biology major Megan Lesperance ’14.

Earlier in her collegiate career, Lesperance also travelled with Reno and four other students to the American Choral Directors Association conducting competition in Dallas, Texas. Lesperance said they were able to sing with and learn from professional singers and some of the best undergraduate and graduate conducting students in the nation.

Even some of Reno’s small changes have brought about big results. Instead of meeting in the evening, Reno scheduled the group’s sessions for the middle of the day.

“It gives me time in the day to relax and de-stress from my hectic schedule, but it also helps me focus and learn throughout my other classes,” said chemistry major Kristin Wrobel ’14, who is currently working with Reno on her thesis about how being involved in music is beneficial to students.

Siena’s chorus has doubled in size in the last three years. “It’s been really amazing for me to watch it grow,” said Reno.

Students credit Reno’s dedication with helping the program expand. “Even semester to semester, the chorus has grown tremendously. It has grown because of Dr. Reno and his love of the chorus,” said Wrobel.

Still, Reno considers student collaboration the major contributor to the chorus’ growth and success.

“The chorus is a model culture in which all sorts of different people come together in an effort to do something powerful and unique,” said Reno.

The students agree that, as an ensemble, they are able to come together, but only because of Reno’s hard work.

“Even as a biology major I have had a lot of musical opportunities that would not have happened had it not been for his hard work and devotion to the improvement of the music department,” said Lesperance.

The talent of both these students and their professor has led others to take note and sing high praise for this emerging program.
 


Contact: Ken Jubie
Contact E-mail: communications@siena.edu

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