We are pleased to present our first project, “Bogoroditse Devo” [Hail, Mother of God] by Sergei Rachmaninov (Movement VI of the All-Night Vigil.) The video includes submissions from 30 alumni and students. The project brought together Grinnell alumni from around the world.
Participants range widely in age — from septuagenarians to 19-year-olds — and geographically: from across the US, Canada, and Europe. It was inspiring to see the passion that this project provoked in some of our alumni as they took up the challenge. Kathryn Wilson, class of ’93, is the supreme example: she spent many hours on the project, as she indicates in her note accompanying her video: “After 200+ takes, here is my contribution. I’m still just as slow at learning the music as I was in Grinnell, but when I think back on Grinnell, singing all the Russian songs under John’s direction definitely ranks at the top, both for their sheer loveliness and the personal sense of accomplishment whenever I would finally manage to get it right.” Joyce Bartlett ’15 wrote, “So grateful for the community of Grinnell Singers,” and Aaron Barker ’11 wrote, “So happy to be singing with Grinnellians again.” It was clear from the comments of the participants that this process represented a meaningful form of connectivity to the college, which was one of the primary goals of the project.
Our sincere thanks go out to all of the participants in the project: Aaron Barker, Joyce Bartlett, Jennifer Brown, Ali Carnes, Sarah Cowan, Kayla Estes, Michelle Friedman, Sarah Goff, Elena Gravitz, Sarah Hallas, Jack Hansen, Samantha Hengst, Bob Holmes, Eugenia Lackey, Huiting Liu, Dani Long, Lisa Mather, Alexandra Middeldorp, Boyd Monson, Austin Morris, Julie Poelchau, Jon Richardson, Victoria Robinson, John Rommereim, Jacob Sagrans, Sumana Shankar, Joseph Veneziano, Everett Wade, Lisa Wheaton, Allison Wickens, Arch Williams, and Kathryn Wilson.