Deep in the lowest level of the Memorial Student Center (MSC), is a group of women singing the song they know best, “I Believe.” They are the Texas A&M Women’s Chorus (WC), and for 34 years they have been serenading Texas A&M University and the state of Texas.
“No matter who you are, you find friends in WC who accept you, no matter what. These ladies have become my college family since my real family lives more than six hours away,” said Jenny Torres ’13, the WC librarian.
The choir is a part of the larger organization Choral Activities and consists of approximately 50 members. Functioning under the leadership of seven officers and six ex-officios, they rehearse nearly five hours a week in the Choral Activities Offices. Women’s Chorus is directed by Jess Wade, who has served as the assistant coordinator of music at Texas A&M for 25 years. Choral Activities is also home to the Century Singers and the brother group of Women’s Chorus, the Singing Cadets.
WC has many of its own unique traditions like the university they proudly represent. For example, they call their first and second semester members “Rrukies.” And don’t think the spelling is an oversight! WC’s founder and first director, Patricia P. Fleitas, who was Cuban, pronounced the word rookie with a rolled “r,” and the first members of the group honored her with the name of first year singers. The first of many Women’s Chorus traditions were born.
Camryn Stoll ’14, Women’s Chorus’ performance manager said, “What I love most about WC is being surrounded by fellow Aggies who share the same passion for music and singing as I do.”
The choir is currently preparing for its largest fundraiser of the year, Singing Valentines. On Feb. 13 and 14, the group will send trios out to the Bryan/College Station area to serenade lucky Valentine recipients. Each Singing Valentine includes candy, a card and flowers. For more information about Singing Valentines, or to place an order, call the Choral Activities Office at (979) 845-5974.
Following Singing Valentines, Women’s Chorus will prepare to travel on a weekend tour to the Dallas area March 22-24. “My favorite part of WC is spring tour,” said Stoll. “It’s so much fun spending the entire weekend on a bus with the girls performing five concerts in three days. Joining Women’s Chorus is a serious time commitment, but it has been worth every minute.”
Just like with other student organizations, everything the members of WC do is on a volunteer basis. They don’t receive class credit for their participation., and the group typically consists of no music majors. “I like how I can interact with people outside my major and grow strong bonds with those who share my interest in music,” said Abby Rosales ’14.
The final two activities for the group this year will be the spring concert, “How Can I Keep from Singing,” on April 12, and a performance with the Century Singers and Singing Cadets prior to the Muster ceremony on April 21.
They may be called a choir, but Women’s Chorus is a musical family away from home just waiting to serenade you with a song.
By Anna Eubank ’13
Request your A&M Support Kit to learn how your gifts through the Texas A&M Foundation can help student organizations like the Texas A&M Women’s Chorus.
Cindy Munson ’99,
Director of Development, Department of Student Affairs