Past Graduates

Karuna Sangam

Seven and a half years with Cantabile

It seems like it was only yesterday that I was 10 years old, walking into my first Intermediate rehearsal without a clue as to how Cantabile would shape my life. While it wasn't my first experience in a choir, it plunged me into the world of choral singing in a way no other choir has. I have sung in the West Bay Opera production of Bizet’s Carmen, weathered through pouring rain on our tour to England, gained fascinating insights into music through Elena's tangents on music history, performed on the stage of Carnegie Hall, and had some rather interesting encounters with raccoon's during choir camps. Our England tour, in particular, was one of my favorite trips of all time. I have a rather vivid memory of one of our concerts, which took place in a 1000-year-old church — we had just finished singing the two Russian pieces that were part of our tour repertoire, and there was a moment after the final chord when it really hit me that I was standing where countless people had stood before me and where countless others would stand in the future. It was an incredibly moving experience for me, and I believe that the feeling of being part of something so much bigger than oneself is the essence of choir. There's something about creating music together that connects people in a rather profound way, and nowhere have I felt this more than in my time than with Cantabile. I have grown both artistically and intellectually, but I've also grown immensely as a person, and it's the combination of all of this that has inspired me to find every opportunity I can to create more music. Through Cantabile, I have gained an understanding of art and humanity that will continue to serve me as a musician and as a human being as I take this next step in my life. These past seven and a half years have been a gift, and I am so thankful to Elena and everyone at Cantabile for having given me the opportunity to share it with all of my fellow singers.

Good luck at Bard College, Karuna!